Sex establishment licences

Pages in Sex establishment licences

  1. 1. You are here: Sex establishment licences
  2. 2. Apply 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 or acts of force or restraint associated therewith
  • sexual entertainment venues, which are premises at which entertainment comprising live sexually stimulating performances or displays of nudity is 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.

A licence is therefore required if it is intended to use any premises, vehicle or vessel or stall as a sex establishment. This requirement does not apply where the Council has waived the requirement for a licence, nor to the sale, supply or demonstration of articles which are manufactured for use primarily for the purposes of birth control or primarily relate to birth control.

Council considerations

When considering an application for a Sex Establishment licence the Council may only use the following criteria.

The suitability of the applicant

  • Whether the person applying is a “front” person for someone else
  • The location and suitability of the premises
  • Whether the number of sex establishments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number, which the Council considers appropriate for the area.

Before applying we advise applicants consider discussing their proposals with a licencing officer.

Further information