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Licensing

Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Licensing Policy 2024 Consultation

We invite you to provide feedback between 30 January 2024 and 25 March 2024. View the consultation.

Licence summary

You need a licence from us to run:

  • any premises selling sex toys, books or videos

  • sexual entertainment venues such as lap-dancing clubs and strip shows

  • venues where sexually explicit films are shown to members of the public.

A licence lasts for one year.

What happens if I don't apply for a licence?

You can be fined up to £20,000 if you run a sex establishment without a licence, or if you break any of the conditions of your licence

Are there any restrictions?

Licences will be refused if you:

  • are under 18 years old

  • have been disqualified from holding a licence

  • have not been resident in the UK for at least six months immediately before you make your application

  • are not incorporated in the UK, where the applicant is a company

  • have been refused a licence or a licence renewal within the last 12 months.

How do I apply?

Complete the application form online. You will also need to:

  • give public notice of your application by publishing a notice in a local newspaper within seven days of the application being made and

  • display a notice [DOCX, 49Kb], which can be easily read by the public, on or near the premises for 21 days from the date of the application.

Apply for a Licence Online

Fees

The licence application fee is £2,824.

Does tacit consent apply?

No. This means you must obtain a licence before operating a sex establishment. Please contact us if you have not heard from us within a reasonable period

Appeals

There is a right of appeal to the Magistrates’ Court for a period of 21 days.

Consumer complaints

We advise that consumer complaints are first made to the trader, preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that does not work, further advice is available from Citizens Advice.