A sex establishment may be a sex shop, sex cinema or sexual entertainment venue. If you would like to run a business that falls into one of these categories then you will need this licence.
A sex shop is a premises used for business consisting to a significant degree for the selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, display or demonstrating relevant articles unless an exemption applies.
A sexual entertainment venue is a premises at which relevant entertainment is provided before a live audience for the financial gain of the organiser or entertainer unless an exemption applies.
A sex cinema is a premises used to a significant degree for the exhibition of moving pictures concerned with relevant images unless an exemption applies.
Please note that a premises may include a vessel, vehicle or stall.
Yes. An applicant:
Yes. The application requirements document sets out the application process and the plan and public notice requirements together with other information you may find useful when submitting your application. You may also find our Licensing Policy for Sex Establishments useful.
View Licensing fees and charges
Apply online now
Yes, you must notify the Police within 7 days of making your application to the Licensing Authority. This must be sent to ED-Licensing@essex.pnn.police.uk or to the following address:
Essex Police Licensing, 10 Southway, Colchester, Essex CO3 3BU
You must also, within 7 days of making your application, advertise the application in a local newspaper and send a copy of the advert to the Licensing Authority.
You must also display a site notice on the premises for 21 days starting from the date the application was given to the Licensing Authority.
View an example of a newspaper advert and site notice for an application for the grant/renewal/transfer/variation of a sex establishment licence.
There is a 28 day objection period during which people may object to the application.
If objections are received and cannot be resolved that matter will be referred to the Licensing Committee who will decide whether or not to grant the application. The meeting will normally take place within 20 working days of the end of the objection period.
We aim to make a decision within two calendar months of your application.
No. We will notify you and other relevant people if we can't let you know our decision within the two months but, as a result of the Provision of Services Regulations, tacit authorisation does not apply because different arrangements are in place.
The Licensing Policy for Sex Establishments sets out our approach to regulating sex establishments and the procedures for issuing sex establishment licences.
You may within 21 days of being notified of the decision, appeal to the local Magistrates' Court. However, the right to appeal does not apply in certain cases and therefore you may wish to contact the Licensing Authority to check that you are eligible to appeal before making an application to Court.
We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked and you are located in the UK, you can check Consumer rights - GOV.UK for advice. For those outside the UK, you can contact the UK European Consumer Centre.
You can apply for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in your licence by completing and submitting a copy of Form A and emailing email@example.com.
If the details relating to the applicants, the partners, the directors or the persons responsible for the management or the premises have changed, or the operation or management of the premises have changed in anyway, please complete and submit Form A.
If none of those details have changed, you can complete and submit Form B.