How it Works

To apply for Buy With Confidence membership, click here to fill in the registration form

The Buy With Confidence scheme was put together by a partnership of Local Authority Trading Standards Services in response to concerns about ‘rogue traders’. The scheme provides consumers with a list of businesses which have given their commitment to trading fairly. Every business listed has undergone a series of detailed checks by professionally qualified Trading Standards staff before being approved as a member of the scheme.

For businesses looking to show what sets them apart from the rest, the ‘Buy With Confidence Trading Standards Approved’ stamp helps instil confidence in prospective customers and shows that it is a business that takes fair trading seriously. Membership also gives businesses access to advice from qualified Trading Standards personnel, to ensure that if they are ever uncertain of the law, the answer is easy to get.

Buy With Confidence members get:

Entry Vetting

In order to become a Buy With Confidence member, a business must first apply and then pass a set of tailored background checks. Membership of the scheme is not given lightly – amongst other checks, each applicant will have their complaints history reviewed and will have a meeting with Trading Standards qualified personnel, who will check the business premises and can also offer advice to help improve customer service.

Applicants must have a minimum trading history of 6 months and must not cold call consumers.

Good references are required from previous customers, and applicants must agree to abide by the scheme’s terms & conditions, which requires them to follow the letter and spirit of the law. Criminal records disclosure may also be required in some circumstances.

For businesses in the care sector additional checks will be undertaken with the Adult Social Care department of your local authority and the CQC, the Care Inspectorate in Scotland or the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (as appropriate). We will also check your food hygiene rating, where applicable.

Only if all the scheme requirements are met will a business be granted membership, and their conduct will continue to be monitored thereafter. Therefore, gaining and keeping Buy With Confidence Trading Standards Approved status really is a mark of pride for a business, and a sign to potential customers that they take fair trading and customer service seriously.

Independence & Local Authority Backing

Buy With Confidence is run through the cooperation of a number of Trading Standards Services. We consider that Trading Standards has the right expertise and motivation to offer a scheme which offers genuine benefits to consumers and businesses. Accordingly, the Buy With Confidence scheme, including its vetting procedures and terms & conditions, is controlled by local authority Trading Standards Services, to help instil confidence that only those businesses who have proven themselves are listed on the site.

Currently, more than 50 local authorities are involved in the scheme and in many areas Buy With Confidence is directly run by the local Trading Standards Service. For more info on the local authorities involved in Buy With Confidence, click here.


The Buy With Confidence scheme was first launched by Hampshire Trading Standards in 1999. At around the same time, Devon Trading Standards initiated a similar scheme called ‘Customer First’. The two schemes became successful, and were also adopted by neighboring Trading Standards Services. As the schemes grew larger and began sharing information, it became clear that there were benefits to working together under the same rules and branding.

The two schemes merged formally in 2008 as ‘Buy With Confidence’, by which time over 20 local authorities were participating. Today, Buy With Confidence is the largest scheme of its kind nationally. It now offers membership nationwide through a network of hubs, so that all good businesses, irrespective of their size or location, can benefit from Buy With Confidence Trading Standards Approved status.

Click here to apply online for Buy With Confidence Trading Standards Approved status

For further information on the latest Buy With Confidence fees, click here