Sex establishment licence

To run a sex shop or sex entertainment venue you may need a licence from us.

Contact our licensing team at [email protected] prior to submitting an application to arrange an officer to consider your business.

For costs, view our licensing fees and charges.


To apply, you must:

  • be over 18
  • ensure that no one under 18 works at or visits your premises
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been a resident in the UK for the last 6 months, or be an incorporated UK body
  • not have been refused a licence or renewal in the last 12 months, unless the decision was later reversed
  • have a Disclosure and Barring Service certificate


Next steps

If your application is incomplete we will contact you for the information we require.

Once we have a valid application we will advise the end date of consultation for the following notices you must publish:

  • publish an advert about your application in a local newspaper no more than seven days after serving a valid application to us
  • display a notice about your application in or near your premises for 21 days after serving a valid application.

We recommend you do not advertise until we have contacted you.

You’ll need to reapply for a licence every year. 


Contact us in the first instance by email to: [email protected].

You have no right to appeal a refused or revoked licence if:

  • the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which we consider is appropriate
  • the grant of the licence would be inappropriate when considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves

Other refusal may be appealed within 21 days of the notice of refusal to the local Magistrates Court:

Northamptonshire Magistrates Court
Regents Pavilion
Summerhouse Road
Moulton Park
Northampton NN3 6BJ

Tel:01604 497000

Last updated 16 November 2023