Sex establishment licence

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 shop

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 with it.

Sex cinema

Where R18-certificate films can be shown

Sexual entertainment venue

Premises where entertainment made up of live sexually stimulating performances or displays of nudity is provided in front of an audience, for the financial gain of the organiser or performers. Providing this entertainment on no more than 11 occasions a year, with at least one calendar month between each event, doesn't require a sex establishment licence.


  • Application fee: £4,110
  • Annual fee: £3,375
  • Variation fee: £843
  • Transfer fee: £791

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

Apply for a sex establishment licence