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Sex establishment licence

You need a licence to run a sexual entertainment establishment, such as a sex shop, a sex cinema or a sexual entertainment venue. 

Licences for sex establishments are granted under the  Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Who can apply

To apply for a licence you must:

  • be at least 18 years old

  • not be disqualified from holding a licence

  • have been resident in the UK at least 6 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 within the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal

Before you start

Applications must include:

  • the applicant's name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age

  • the full name of the company, its registered or principle address and the full names and addresses of the directors and management

  • the address of the premises and the hours and days when it is intended to trade

Apply for a licence in Christchurch and East Dorset

Complete the application form and return it to us along with the licence fee:

Apply for a licence in North Dorset

Complete the application form and return it us along with the licence fee. 

Apply for a licence in Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland

You can apply for a licence on Gov.uk. You'll need a debit card and to provide copies of the internal layout plan of the premises and a location plan.

Change an existing licence in Purbeck, West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland

Apply to change your existing licence on Gov.uk. You'll need a debit or credit card and to provide copies of the plan of premises layout, location plan and criminal record check.

Displaying your application notice

You must give public notice of your application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper within 7 days of the application being made and a notice must be displayed on or near the premises, where it can be conveniently read for 21 days, beginning on the day the application is made.

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