Sex shops licence

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The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 requires premises which operate as sex shops to obtain a licence from the Borough Council before commencing to trade.
A sex shop is any premise, vehicle, vessel or stall used for a business that consists, to a significant degree, of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles.

Associated Legislation

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982


Certain factors need to be considered when an application for a sex shop licence is made. These factors will include whether the premises are in an appropriate location, for example not near a school, place of worship or family shopping area and the suitability of the applicant.
A licensed sex shop cannot by law admit persons under the age of 18 into the premises, either as customers or to work. The Licensing Authority may impose conditions on the premises controlling how the business is operated; these include conditions regarding the appearance of the premises, its hours of business and the content of its advertising on the building and within. All applicants must:

  • be at least 18 years old.
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence.
  • have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK.
  • not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal.


The law defines the way in which an application is made including the requirement for the applicant to give public notice of the application. This must be:

  • not later than 7 days after the date of application an advertisement must be placed in a newspaper local to the area of the premises
  • on the date of application a notice must be displayed for 21 days on or near the premises and in a place where the notice can be conveniently read by the public.
  • not later than 7 days after the date of application the applicant must send a copy of the application to the chief officer of police.

Using the EUGO Portal you can:


The licence remains in force for one year. This may be for a shorter period if the appropriate authority thinks fit.

Current Fee


Further Information

Phone: 01732 876026