Sex establishments

Apply for a licence for a sex establishment

You may need a licence to run a sex establishment. A sex establishment is any premises selling sex toys, books or videos.

You might also need a licence for a venue where explicit films are shown to the public, but you can ask us to waive this.

Apply for a licence

Related documents

Changes to your existing licence


You must:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application (or if a body corporate, be incorporated in the UK)
  • not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months (unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal)

Application process

There will be a fee for applications and conditions may be attached.

Applications must contain:

  • your name
  • your address
  • your age (if you are applying as an individual)
  • the address of the premises
  • any information that we need

You must give public notice of the application by publishing a notice in a local newspaper.

Related documents

Will tacit consent apply?

No. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Licence holder redress

Contact us in the first instance.

A licence holder who wants to appeal against a condition can appeal to a local Magistrates' Court.

Variation of terms

Licence holders can apply to for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in their licence.

If an application for a variation is refused, or if the licence is revoked, you can appeal to the local Magistrates' Court (within 21 days of being notified of the imposition of, or the refusal to vary, the term, condition or restriction in question, or of the revocation).

A licence holder may also appeal to the Crown Court against a decision of a Magistrates' Court.

Other redress

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to the relevant authority, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.

Contact Licensing