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Sex establishment licence

Sex establishments can be a sex shop, sex cinema or a sexual entertainment venue.

Sex establishments are required to be licensed under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

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Sex establishments

A sex shop is any premises who mainly sells sex articles.

A sex cinema is any premises used mainly for showing films promoting sexual activity.

A sexual entertainment venue is any premises which relevant entertainment is provided to a live audience for financial gain. Relevant entertainment includes the live performance or live display of nudity provided for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of the audience (whether verbal or by other means). An audience can be just one person.

Licence application process

The application process is defined by law, and includes:

  • advertising a notice of the application in a local newspaper
  • displaying a notice outside the premises for a specific time period to give passers-by the opportunity to comment.

When considering an application, we may only use the following criteria.

  • The suitability of the applicant.
  • Whether the person applying 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 that locality is appropriate for the area.

Before applying for this type of licence, it is advisable to contact us for further advice.

Apply for a sex establishment licence

You can apply for a sex establishment licence using the online form below.

An application form, notice templates, and a copy of our standard conditions are available from us on request.

All applications will be decided at a licensing sub-committee hearing.


The fee for this licence is worked out as the actual cost. This will be calculated and is payable once an outcome has been decided.

Contact details

You can contact us if you have any questions about sex establishment licences.


Phone: 023 8028 5505

Licensing Services
New Forest District Council
Appletree Court
Beaulieu Road
SO43 7PA

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