Skip to main content

Sex establishments

You must have a licence if you wish to run a sex establishment. A sex establishment is:

  • a sex shop - any premises selling sex toys, books or DVDs as a major part of their stock
  • a sex cinema – any cinema used for a significant amount of its business to show explicit films to the public

The licensing of sex establishments is regulated under schedule three of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

To be eligible to apply for a licence you must:

  • be 18 or over
  • not have been disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been resident in the UK for at least six months immediately before the application
  • be a registered business in the UK if applying as a corporate body
  • not have been refused a licence or a renewal for the premises being applied for in the last 12 months

You will need to provide the following to apply to run a sex establishment:

  • a fee of £2,255
  • an area street plan
  • internal layout plan of the premises
  • a notice of intent to run a sex shop/establishment

You need to advertise your intentions in the local newspaper within seven days of your application being received by us.

Apply online

You need to renew your licence every year and pay the same fee as a new application.

You can renew your licence by filling out our application form.

Apply to renew your licence

If you need to make changes to your licence, the layout of your premises or transfer your licence to a new licence holder you must let us know. You can tell us by completing our online form and will need to pay a fee of £2,255.

Apply to change your licence

Please see our fees and charges page for further details.

View our fees and charges

Some documents on this page may not be in an accessible format. If you require any documents in an accessible format, please complete our online form to request them.