Do I Need a Radio License in the UK?

If you are planning on using a radio system for commercial purposes anywhere in the UK, you will need a radio broadcast licence. According to Ofcom’s official site,

“If you use a radio system for your business then you will need a licence from Ofcom. Business radio users range from taxi companies and factories, to hospitals, care homes, industrial sites and transport operators. To begin the licensing process – and learn more about the specific licence you’ll need – (it then diverts you to a special application link)”.

The quote below is from Icom They offer a comprehensive page that you should probably check out before buying your radios. Their advice as is follows:

“You will need a radio licence to operate your two way business radios. This is issued by the Government Agency, Ofcom. Licensed frequencies are allocated on a case-by-case basis. You can get your dealer to program them into your radio”.

They also advise the buyer to,

“Get your local dealer to help with the licence application, they will advise on the best way to apply to get the channel you need”.

And also say that,

“If you wish to use your radios all over the UK and are not based in one fixed location, you can apply for a Business Radio Simple UK licence which is £75, renewable every 5 years”.

On the subject of price, it does appear that I can’t tell you how much it’s likely to cost, as pricing is an individual thing and it depends on your needs. When asked how much a licence will cost, Icom UK says,

“OK, the big question…unfortunately that is the one question we cannot answer, but your local Icom business radio dealer can. Often you will find that the radios you actually need are much more affordable than some you might have first looked at. Icom have a very comprehensive range at all price levels while still having the same quality and you could consider spreading the immediate cost by leasing rather than outright purchase”.

Icom then provide a link to finding a UK dealer, which I’ll add to this answer HERE.

Basically, any business radio use will require a licence, so it’s pretty important that you learn as much as you can about them (and what they entitle you to do).

Do not be disheartened, however, gaining license to broadcast isn’t as difficult as you might think and the costs are likely to be more manageable than you’re probably dreading they will be. Whatever you think of it, you’ll have to pay the fee, that’s just the way it is. In America, the FCC governs the licensing. Here in the UK, broadcast licensing is maintained and regulated by Ofcom (as stated earlier).

According to Walkie-Talkie, there is a reason beyond naked profiteering:

“Most countries have some government agency in charge of who can use what radio frequencies. This is necessary to ensure that different organizations can use radio communications effectively without interfering with each other”.

So do a little research, fill out a couple of forms and move on to the next problem.