Sex establishments are required to be licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. There are three different types of establishment:
- a sexual entertainment venue is a premises where entertainment is provided for the purpose of sexually stimulating a live audience (whether by verbal or other means) for financial gain
- sex shop is a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles
- sex cinema is a premises used to a significant degree for showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.
Before applying, read the Sex Establishment Policy (PDF, 338.09KB, 22 pages).
There is a consultation period where you must advertise the application in the local press and at the premises in order to give the public opportunity to comment.
If a licence is granted, it will remain in force for up to one year. The local authority can impose conditions on the licence.
Apply for a Licence
You can apply online.
A fee must be paid at the time an application is made. The fee (PDF, 159KB, 5 pages) covers the cost of administration, inspection and enforcement activity.