Currently, an Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) license is only required where your business intends to sell flights, either in isolation or as part of a travel package. Officially, this includes:

  • Charter flights;
  • flight-inclusive packages;
  • scheduled flights, in the absence of an airline ticket being immediately issued; or,
  • Flight Plus.

If, up until this point, your business has had no hand in the sale or arrangement of flights, then you have probably never had need to consider become an ATOL-holder.

However, as your business grows, this may be a string you wish to add to your bow and having the right people on board at the right time can make the world of difference.

If ATOL registration is the logical next step for your organisation, there are a couple of things you should consider before applying for the first time.

What type of ATOL licence do I need?

Currently, there are four types of ATOL licence available and, based on what you intend to sell and to whom, you will need to determine which is the most appropriate for your business activities. The four types of licence include; standard, small business, trade (ATOL to ATOL) and franchised.

With knowledge of your plans for the business and future transactions we can help you to correctly identify which licence you should be applying for.

Compliance with the Civil Aviation Authority’s requirements

Your responsibilities do not end with simply applying for an ATOL licence; once your licence has been granted you must continue to comply with the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAAs) requirements in order to retain your status.

The application process can be daunting for a first-timer and, even if you have applied before, continuing to comply with the CAAs requirements on an ongoing basis can, too, be challenging.

How can George Hay help?

Here at George Hay Chartered Accountants, we are able to offer audit and accounting services to ATOL registered companies in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and throughout the UK.

We can support ATOL registered travel companies with fulfilling their statutory obligations; specifically, meeting the rigorous auditing and accounts reporting requirements that they are subject to. From helping you to decide which ATOL licence is right for your business, to supporting you through the application process and ensuring you remain compliant with the CAAs requirements to retain your status, we have it covered.

Letchworth-based Partner, Richard Dilley FCA FCCA, is a registered ATOL Reporting Accountant (ARA) and meets the latest requirements set by the Air Travel Organiser’s Licence (ATOL) and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). He is supported by Emma Wilsher FCA who has considerable experience in ATOL reporting and by a wider team of audit professionals who have years of experience assisting businesses with statutory, voluntary and specialist Grant audits.

If you want us to accompany your travel business on its journey to success, contact us today on 01462 708810 or complete our online enquiry form here.

Alternatively, you can email Richard at, or Emma at

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