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Sex establishments and sex entertainment venues

You need a licence to run a sex establishment or sex entertainment venues such as a club, cinema, or shop.

You must:

  • be over 18
  • ensure that no one under 18 works at or visits your premises
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been a resident in the UK for the last 6 months, or be an incorporated UK body
  • not have been refused a licence or renewal in the last 12 months, unless the decision was later reversed

As part of the application process you have to tell us whether or not you have any convictions and produce a Disclosure and Barring Service certificate.

Once you’ve applied for a licence you must:

  • publish an advert about your application in a local newspaper
  • display a notice about your application in or near your premises for 21 days

We will send a copy of your application to the local police.


Fees are split between an application fee and a fee on grant of a licence. The application fee must be paid at the time of submission. Once it has been determined that a licence can be granted then the remainder of the fee will be due, should a licence not be granted then the second fee is not payable.

Type of applicationApplication feeOn grant
Sex establishments shop£461.44£362.56
Sex entertainment venue or club£1,730.40£1,359.60
All other sex establishments£461.44£362.56

You’ll need to renew your licence every year and tell us about any changes.

Anybody who operates a sex establishment without a licence or fails to comply with a licence condition or admits persons under the age of 18 is committing an offence can be fined up to £20,000.

Apply / renew

To apply please contact your local area

Last updated 16 October 2023