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Sex establishment licence

If want to sell sex-related items from your premises, operate a sex cinema or provide sexual entertainment to the public in a premises you may need have to a sex establishment licence.

Anyone over the age of 18 years can apply for one. For more information about what is covered please contact us directly.

Before making a decision on your application for a sex shop licence we must consider the following:

  • the character of the area of the proposed sex shop
  • the layout, character or condition of the proposed premises
  • the use of other buildings nearby the proposed sex shop

You will not be able to apply if you have been disqualified from having a sex establishment licence, or had a previous application refused less than 12 months ago.


  • the fee to apply for the grant of a licence is £727
  • the fee to apply for the renewal of a licence is £638
  • to vary a licence is £79
  • to transfer a licence is £79

You must pay the full fee when you apply. The fee won’t be refunded if you application isn’t successful.

Publishing a notice

You must display a notice for 21 days beginning from the date we get your application. The notice should be displayed on or near the premises, in a place where it is easy for the public to read.

You must also publish a public notice in the local newspaper within seven days of the application and send us a copy of this notice.

When we receive a full application, we begin a 28 day consultation. This gives the public a chance to object. When the 28 days ends your application will be considered by the Licensing Committee.

The licence lasts for one year and you must apply to renew the licence one month before it expires.

You should allow at least three months for your application to be considered.