If your business sells goods or entertainment of a sexual nature, you will need a licence. This includes:
- sex shops
- sex cinemas
- sexual entertainment venues
You will be able to apply for a licence if you:
- are over 18 years old
- have been resident in the UK at least six months before the application (if a corporate body, this must be incorporated in the UK)
- have not been disqualified from holding a licence
- have not 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
To apply for a licence, you need to:
- complete the sex shop licence application form (pdf)
- pay the £1,325 fee
Once you have applied for a licence, you will need to:
- advertise your application in a local newspaper
If your application for a licence is successful, we may impose conditions on your premises. These conditions could affect the hours you can operate or the types of material you can display.
If you are refused a licence, you can appeal to the local magistrates' court within 21 days of being of the refusal.
However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:
- the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
- the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves
If we grant your licence, it needs to be renewed every year from the date it was granted. The fee to renew the licence for one year is £1,190.