Apply for a sex establishment licence

Use this guide to help you when applying for a sex establishment licence.

If you are running a sex establishment in the borough, you must ensure that it is licensed.

Sex establishments must be licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, as amended by the Policing and Crime Act 2009.

The definition of sex establishment includes:

  • sex cinemas, at which R18-certificate films can be shown
  • sex shops, which are premises, vehicles or stalls used for selling, displaying or demonstrating sex articles (which may include R18-certificate videos and DVDs) or other things used in connection with sexual activity 
  • sexual entertainment venues. These are premises at which live sexually-stimulating performances or displays of nudity are provided in front of an audience, for the financial gain of the organiser or performers. Provision of such entertainment on no more than 11 occasions per year, with at least a calendar month between each occasion, will not require a sex establishment licence.

You must not begin operating a sex establishment until your application for a licence is granted.