Apply for a sex establishment licence

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

Determination of applications

All applications for new sex establishment licences and for variations of existing licences will be considered by our licensing sub-committee at a hearing. The sub-committee will also consider any applications for transfer or renewal of existing licences which have attracted objections. Any objections received in respect of an application will be taken into account during that process.

Applications must be refused if the applicant:

  • is under 18 years of age
  • has had a sex establishment licence revoked in the previous 12 months
  • has not lived in an European Economic Area (EEA) state for six continuous months before making the application, or is not incorporated in an EEA state
  • has been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall in the previous 12 months, unless the refusal was reversed on appeal.

The authority may also refuse an application if:

  • the applicant is deemed to be unsuitable to hold a licence for any reason, including a previous conviction for an offence
  • the business to which the application relates would be managed by or carried on for the benefit of another person who would be refused a licence if they made the application themselves
  • the number of sex establishments in the local area at the time the application is made is equal to or exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate for that area
  • the authority considers that the grant or renewal of the licence would be inappropriate. This is in respect of the character of the local area, the use to which any other premises in the vicinity are put, or the layout, character or condition of the premises, vehicle, vessel or stall of which the application is made.

Licences will be granted for a maximum period of a year, and a renewal application must be made before the expiry of the licence if the proprietor wishes to continue trading.