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Sex establishment licences

A sex establishment is anywhere used for a business that consists to a significant degree of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex-related articles.

There are strict rules governing the licensing of sex establishments and we can grant or refuse to renew a licence depending on whether we consider them suitable for the local area, and the number of similar premises already located there.

For details on how we use data relating to licence holders and applicants, please see our privacy notice for licence holders and applicants.

For details on how we use data relating to complainants and those making representations against a licence application, please see our privacy notice for complainants and objectors.

How to apply for a sex establishment licence

If you wish to apply for a sexual entertainment venue licence, please ensure you read our Sexual Entertainment Venue Licensing Policy first.

The fee for applying for a new licence, renewal, transfer, or variation is £6,500.

To apply please complete a sex establishment licence application form and send it with the fee to us at the address below.

Once you have submitted your application, you must display a completed public notice on the premises. This must be printed on orange A3 paper and the text printed in black ink. The notice must be clearly visible from the street.

Using the same wording, you must also arrange for a completed newspaper advert to be placed in a newspaper circulating in the area where the premises is located.

What happens next

When we receive a new application, we’ll check it has been submitted correctly and is accompanied by the correct fee and any other required documentation.

If the information is correct, once we validate your application, people will then have 28 days to submit their comments.

We will let you know if we receive objections to your application and will send you anonymous copies of the objections.

Your application will then be determined by our Licensing Committee – we will contact you to let you know when this will take place.

The Committee will consider if you, as the applicant, are suitable to hold the licence, if the application meets our policy, and whether it is in a suitable location.

You can make representations to the committee, along with any objectors.

For further information on the licensing of sex establishments please see: