Sex establishment licence

  1. Summary

    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.

  2. Fees

    Sexual Entertainment Venue Fee: £4,425
    Sex Shop/Sex Cinema: £4,652

  3. Application and guidance notes

    To enquire about a sex establishment licence please email

    If you wish to make any amendments to an existing licence you must submit an application to vary the licence.

    View the sex establishment policy

  4. Attachments required

    • A site scale plan (1:1250);
    • Drawings showing the front elevation as existing; 
    • Drawings showing the front elevation as proposed including signage, advertising and window display;
    • Scale layout plan of premises; 
    • Planning permission; 
    • Certificate of lawful use or development; 
    • If the applicant is a company, copies of memorandum and articles of association of the company; 
    • If the applicant is a partnership, a certified copy of the partnership deed; 
    • A copy of any other licences for the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall; 
    • Code of practice for performers; 
    • Rules for customers; and 
    • Policy for welfare of performers.

  5. Processing and timescales

    There is a 28 day consultation period on all applications. Following this period, the application shall be determined by the Licensing and Appeals Committee in due course, this will be done as quickly as possible but it is not possible to set definite timescales.

    Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and contain all information we require.

    Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper circulating in the appropriate authorities area and displaying a notice on or near the premises in a place where it can be read by the public.

    The guidance notes gives a template for the notice which must be displayed at the premises.

  6. Policy

    Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

  7. Legislation

    Unless a shorter period is specifically stated, all licences will be granted for one year and renewed annually.

  8. Register

    View the General Licensing Public Register

  9. Terms of use

    Contact Licensing in the first instance. Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates court. 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 we consider appropriate, or 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.

  10. Appeals

  11. Eugo Logo

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