If your business provides credit facilities to customers, you will need to comply with a number of laws - particularly the Consumer Credit Act and the Consumer Credit Directive.
The rules don't just apply to specialist credit businesses such as credit card providers or money lenders. A business that allows customers to buy on credit will probably have to comply with them too. The rules also apply when goods are hired or leased out.
In most cases, you'll have to apply to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to be licensed to provide credit. Licences are only granted to those businesses that satisfy the FCA that they are fit to engage in the activities covered by the licence.
This guide provides an overview of the regulations which apply to consumer credit, explains which businesses need to be licensed and sets out how to apply for a licence.