Licence - Sex Establishment

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

    To operate a sex establishment, you need a licence from Stafford Borough Council.

    A sex establishment can be a sexual entertainment venue, a sex shop or a sex cinema. 

    A sexual entertainment venue is a premises where entertainment is provided before a live audience i.e. lap dancing, strip shows or a pole dancing club. 

    A sex shop is any premises where articles, in the course of a business, are sold (to a significant degree) which can be used in connection with sexual activity, ie sex toys, books or videos.

    A sex cinema is defined as any premises used for the showing of films that are concerned primarily with, relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.

    Application Process

    Fees will be payable for applications and conditions may be attached.

    Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and contain any information the local authority requires, as well as the applicant's name, address and, where the applicant is an individual, their age, plus the address of the premises.

    Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

    Apply for a licence for a sex establishment


    Any applicant who is refused a licence, or refused the renewal of a licence, may, within 21 days of being notified of the refusal, appeal to the local magistrates' court.

    However, the right to appeal does not apply where the licence was refused on the grounds that:

    • the number of sex establishments in the area exceeds the number which the authority consider is appropriate
    • the grant of the licence would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area, or the premises themselves

    Offences and Penalties

    • Anybody who operates a sex establishment without a licence or fails to comply with licence conditions or admits persons under the age of 18 is committing an offence
    • Penalties upon conviction can range from £1,000 to £20,000.

    Sex Establishment Licence Conditions



    Tel: 01785 619745

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