You will need a licence from us if you want to run a sex shop or a sex cinema. This is a requirement under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

If you are looking for guidance on sexual entertainment venues please see our separate guidance.


A fee of £2,400 is payable on application.

To renew a sex establishment licence, a fee of £2,000 is payable on application.

Apply for a sex establishment license

You can apply online for a sex establishment license using

Important guidance

Before you apply for a licence please ensure you have read the guidance first.


If anyone objects to your licence application they must put this in writing, stating their grounds, within 21 days of the date of the application.

If a valid objection is received, a Licensing Board Hearing will be held .

How we will notify you

Your application will not be automatically granted, to ensure public safety.

If you have not heard from us after the 21 day period for comments on your application has ended, you will need to contact us.


You can appeal to the Magistrates Court against a decision. Please contact us in the first instance.

The right to appeal does not apply if the licence is refused because:

  • the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds an appropriate number
  • it  would be inappropriate because of the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves

We are part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area.

For full information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states, visit the European Commission website.

Contact Licensing Team

Ask us a question

01142734264 Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

Block C
Staniforth Road Depot
S9 3HD