To demonstrate/perform hypnotism, an authorisation must be granted by us under the Hypnotism Act 1952.

“Hypnotism” includes hypnotism, mesmerism and any similar act or process which produces or is intended to produce in any person any form of induced sleep or trance in which the susceptibility of the mind of that person to suggestion or direction is increased or intended to be increased but does not include hypnotism, mesmerism or any such similar act or process which is self-induced.

Hypnotism cannot be performed on any person under the age of 18 years.

Making an application

You can apply for hypnotism authorisation online or if you’d prefer, apply by writing to us with details of your intended performance.

As there is no set criteria under the Hypnotism Act, we would request if you make your application in writing to us to include the following information:

  • details of the type of demonstration/performance taking place
  • where the demonstration/performance is taking place
  • information/plan of which room(s) the demonstration/performance is taking place
  • date(s) and time(s) of the demonstration/performance

We will take into consideration all the above information before determining your application.

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted. If we have no issues with your application, an authorisation will be granted and issued to you after the 28 day period. If we feel we may have to refuse your application, we will send you a notice of this intention and your application will be determined by our Licensing Committee.


There are exemptions where an authorisation is not required, this would fall under:

  • an exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism that takes place in the course of a performance of a play
  • the exhibition, demonstration or performance of hypnotism for scientific or research purposes for the treatment of mental or physical disease

If we grant you an authorisation, you must adhere to conditions which have been attached.

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.

Licensing Team

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01142734264 Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm

Block C
Staniforth Road Depot
S9 3HD