To operate a sex establishment, such as a sexual entertainment venue, sex shop or sex cinema, you need a sex establishment licence.
Before you apply
You need to read and understand the requirements set out on this page before you submit an application for a licence. We cannot proceed with your application unless you give us all the information we need.
Your application must include the following details:
- your name and address
- your age
- the address of the premises
- a site plan of the premises
If you want to apply for a sex establishment licence, you:
- must be at least 18 years old
- must not be disqualified from holding a licence
- must not have been refused a licence within the last 12 months (unless this was reversed on appeal)
Fees and prices
Select a topic below to view the fees and charges for sex establishment licences:
We will grant sex establishment licences for 1 year, unless we state otherwise.
How to apply
You can submit an application using our online form:
Once you have applied for a licence, you must also do the following:
- Give public notice of your application in a local newspaper within a week of the application
- Send a copy of the application to the Chief Officer of Police within a week of the application
- Display a notice outside the premises for 21 days
Select a topic below to find out more about sex establishment licences.
Once we receive your application, we will consult with the following:
- Environmental Health
- Trading Standards
- Ward councillors
We must allow 28 days for objections to be made. Anyone wishing to to make an objection must submit this to us in writing by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to determine your application within 60 days.
If we receive any objections, the application will be referred to our licensing committee for determination.
When considering an application, we will take into account the following factors:
- the suitability of the applicant
- whether the applicant is a 'front' person for someone else
- the location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area
- whether the number of sex establishments in the locality exceeds the number which we deem appropriate for the area
Tacit consent applies. If you do not hear from us within 60 days, you will be able to act as though your application is granted.
If you want to appeal a licence rejection, please contact us by email at email@example.com
If you want to appeal our decision, you can apply to Bath Magistrates Court. You can also appeal a Magistrates Court decision to the Crown Court.
However, your right to appeal does not apply if your licence was refused on the following grounds:
- the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority considers 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
Licences will be subject to a set of standard conditions.
We may also attach additional conditions to the licence. These will be sent to you with your licence.
If you believe a sex establishment does not have a licence or is breaching its licence, please report this to us using our online form.
We have made the information on these web pages as comprehensive as possible. However, in attempting to simplify the law, certain requirements have been omitted. Full details of what you must do are in the relevant legislation.
Laws can and do change. We must advise that only the Courts can give an authoritative opinion on statute law.