Before licensing PAF®, it's important you have a clear idea about the data you need, who is going to use the data, and how it will be used. This module will help you decide what licensing options are most suitable for your organisation.

Essentials sets out the different licensing considerations and introduces the options that are available. 

Click on the headings below to access the information.


Your organisation's use or your customer's use?


Using PAF-powered address solutions has benefits for both the employees of an organisation and for its customers, particularly for selecting and verifying addresses. It is really important to be clear on who is using the data as the licence fees will vary depending on this.

Individual use, transactions or a combination of the two?


Some organisations like the certainty of licensing all of their users to access PAF whereas others prefer to license on a transactional, pay as you go basis.There are different licensing options within the PAF Agreements to allow organisations to choose what option or combination works best for them. 

Website use: for managed use or unlimited use?


Many organisations incorporate an address look-up into their website(s) to make online transactions easier for customers and as a way of capturing PAF-verified addresses in a standardised format. These organisations can either manage their use of PAF by licensing on a transactional basis or, for organisations with large volumes of online transactions, it may be better value for them to cap their liability and pay for the unlimited use of the data.

Place: for use in UK or overseas?


Within the PAF Agreements we no longer prescribe how Solutions Providers or End Users should apply Data Protection rules. Obligations to comply with data protection laws do of course, remain but it is up to the organisation in question to choose how to apply any applicable Data Protection rules..

Access: by your employees or by members of a group or network?


In most cases, an organisation will license the data based on how its employees and customers will use it. However, linkages between certain organisations, the existence of groups or connected networks such as a retail franchise, requires a different licensing approach. There is further information on these licensing options within the Learn and Scenarios modules.

Data coverage

Level of detail: delivery address or street level data?


Whether you want to develop a Solution including all delivery points held within PAF, or simply want a list of post towns, you can choose either Full PAF or *Part PAF.

A full PAF record comprises all known delivery address and postcode elements in the UK. A Part PAF record includes some of the same elements but not all.

You can find details of the data elements contained in a PAF record within the Full and Part PAF section of our Pricing page

*Please note that Part PAF is only available via a Solutions Provider.

Coverage: entire UK or specific postcode areas?


You can choose to license the entire PAF database which contain all UK addresses and 1.8m postcodes, or by individual postcode areas e.g. PO or LS etc.

For example, licensing postcode areas only can offer a flexible, cost effective way for smaller organisations to benefit from using postal address information.


Fees: based on your licensing requirements


Organisations have a number of choices as to how they license the data and as a result, the licence fees that need to be returned vary accordingly. You can find out more about the Licence Fees within the Full and Part PAF section of our Pricing page.

Reporting: understanding your obligations


Solutions Providers are responsible for calculating and reporting all End User Licence Fees to Royal Mail. Licence Fees are calculated on a per annum basis with a requirement to return the fees on a monthly basis.

End User customers may also purchase additional licences during a given licensing year and pay for these on a pro rata basis.

To find out more about Licence Fee reporting, please refer to the PAF Licence pricing page.


As you are journeying through the Licensing Centre, you will see frequent references to our Resources and Glossary pages. The information on each of these will help you further develop your understanding of the terms of the Agreements. Click on the links below to access these pages.


We've produced a range of information to guide you through the new licensing arrangements. View the Resources now

View resources


Here you will find a list of licence definitions. You can access the Glossary wherever you see this icon. View the Glossary now

View the glossary now