Pay as you go business compliance advice

Through our pay as you go business compliance advice service, your business can receive advice on any compliance query it may have from Trading Standards.

This applies whether your business is based in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough, or is based elsewhere, although businesses based elsewhere might prefer to seek advice from their own local authority if this service is offered.

Unlike Primary Authority, there's no ongoing advisory relationship between us and your business. You simply contact us when you need advice and pay as you go. SMEs and sole traders tend to use this service when they need infrequent advice.

Trading Standards can offer advice on food descriptions, labelling / composition, packing / weighing, allergens. We can also advise on current, topical issues such as novel foods (including CBD), the recent high fat, salt and sugar legislation, and calorie labelling legislation amongst other things.

For a general overview of the full areas that we cover, please visit our Trading Standards homepage. We are able to offer advice on any of these areas of law.

Request pay as you go business compliance advice

To request pay as you go business compliance advice, please complete our online form.

Once one of our advisers considers your enquiry, they will give you an estimate of the likely charge so that you can decide whether to proceed with the request. We don't ask for payment through the form.

Fees

The hourly charge for advice of this nature is £80 per hour, plus VAT. It breaks down into 15 minute chargeable segments with a minimum charge of £40 (30 minutes). Terms and conditions apply.

VAT is not applicable to our Primary Authority advice service, but does apply to our pay as you go service.

Hourly rate fees increase from 1 April 2024

Please note our hourly rate fees will increase from £80 per hour to £95 per hour on 1 April 2024. The 30 minute minimum charge will increase to £47.50.

1. Parties concerned:

1.1 Peterborough City Council delivers the Trading Standards Service on behalf of both Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council.

1.2 These terms and conditions are an agreement between Peterborough City Council (referred to below as "us", "we" and "our") and the business requesting advice / support (referred to below as "you" and "your"). The terms apply where you have requested trading standards related advice or support from us in relation to your business activities ("advice").

2. Our obligations:

2.1 Before any advice is provided we can, on request, provide you with an estimate of the likely charge for the advice you require. This figure is a guide only and the final amount due may be more or less than estimated. Any charges will be based on our hourly rate as published in our fees and charges.

2.2 We will provide you with an appropriately qualified and experienced officer to deal with your request.

2.3 We will provide you with relevant, current, specific advice as requested by you.

3. Your obligations:

3.1 You will provide the necessary up-to-date and accurate information about your business in order for requested advice to be given. We will only provide advice on the basis of the information provided to us by you. You bear full responsibility for ensuring that all information provided to us is complete, accurate and up-to-date.

3.2 Prior to provision of advice, you must complete and return the Registration Form to us.

3.3 You agree to pay in full our charges for the provision of the requested advice, within 28 days of receiving our invoice. Invoices will be sent out quarterly. The current charges are shown on our website.

4. Affiliation / logos

4.1 The use of this service does not entitle you or your business to claim any affiliation with or approval by Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council or Trading Standards. You are not permitted to use any of their respective logos.

5. Late payment

5.1 In the event that you do not pay us the full amount outstanding against an undisputed invoice within the period specified in clause 3.3, we may bring civil proceedings against you to recover the amounts owed plus costs and interest. No further advice or support will be provided to you under this agreement until all outstanding amounts are paid in full.

6. Compliments or complaints

6.1 You can provide compliments or complaints about the service you have received from us via our website.

7. Data Protection and Freedom of Information

7.1 We will record details of your request and the advice given. All information will be processed and stored in accordance with our legal obligations under the relevant data protection legislation.

7.2 Please be aware that we may be required to release information held by us under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. If you wish to find out more about the information which is subject to such requests, the ICO website has details - www.ico.org.uk.

8. Review of terms and conditions

8.1 These terms and conditions will be subject to review from time to time.

9. Jurisdiction

9.1 These terms and conditions shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with English law and the parties submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

Business advice under the Primary Authority scheme

'Primary Authority' is a national scheme where your business can enter into an ongoing advisory agreement with Trading Standards, Environmental Health and Licensing, or just one or a combination of these regulatory teams.

Our expert advisers provide businesses with regulatory advice and support services. This team is known as the 'Regulatory Companion'.

Visit our business advice under the Primary Authority scheme page.

Business advice signposting

We realise that many businesses are keen to try and find the answers to issues themselves, but can't always find where to start. To assist with this, we offer a business signposting service. Having received information from you regarding the specific issue you are trying to resolve, one of our experts will send you the most useful links online to assist you.

This service is free of charge, but it is important to note that no bespoke advice is included in this service.

Visit our business advice signposting page.

If you are in dispute with a consumer or another business and need some advice on what to do next, then contact our advice partner the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133 or complete their online enquiry form, where trained advisers can give free advice over the phone or online.

For more information on business scams or to report a suspected scam please visit the Action Fraud website.