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Sex establishments

To run a sex shop (any premises selling sex toys, books or videos) or a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public, a licence is required.

However, you may apply to waive the requirement of a licence.

You can apply online using the Government website:

Apply for a sex shop and cinema licence

Eligibility criteria 

To be eligible for a licence you must:

  • be over 18 years old
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately prior to 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