To operate a sex establishment you need a licence from us.
A sex establishment means a sexual entertainment venue, a sex shop or a sex cinema.
A sexual entertainment venue is any premises at which any live performance or live display of nudity is provided. Lap dancing, strip shows and similar entertainment fall under this definition.
A sex shop means any premises used for a business which consists of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles or other things intended for use in connection with sexual activity. A sex cinema is defined as any premises used for the exhibition of moving pictures, which are concerned primarily with the portrayal of sexual activity.
- New licence - £2,638
- Renewal - £2,638
- Variation - £1,330
- Transfer - £74
How to apply
Applications must be in writing and contain any information we need, including the applicant's name, address, age (where the applicant is an individual) and address of the premises.
Apply for a sex establishment licence
Procedure to follow when applying.
A copy of the application must be emailed to the police email@example.com no later than seven days after the date of application.
Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper and displaying a notice on or near the application premises. Proof of advertising is required by completing the certificate of advertising within the application form.
- be at least 18 years old
- not be disqualified from holding a licence
- have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
- not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal.
How long will it take to process my application?
It will be determined within 56 days following the receipt of an acceptable and complete application.
How long does the licence last and what’s the renewal procedure?
It is issued for 12 months. Applications for renewal have to be made annually.
How do I tell you about changes in circumstances?
Notify us of a change in circumstances.
How to appeal
Please contact your local authority in the first instance.
Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may appeal to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of being notified of the refusal.
However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:
- the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
- the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves.