Sex entertainment venue licences

You need a licence to run a sex shop or a venue where explicit films are shown to the public.

How to apply

To apply:

  • complete the relevant form
  • pay the relevant fee of £6,800
  • advertise your licence application

The easiest way to apply for a licence is online through GOV.UK:

See Advertising your licence application for advertising requirements and guidance.

Licence requirements

An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • must not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • must have been resident in the UK at least six months immediately before the application or, if a body corporate, must be incorporated in the UK
  • must 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

Changes to a sex shop and cinema licence

You must tell us if you wish to change or vary the licence. Apply online through GOV.UK:

Does tacit consent apply?

No. We must process your application before it can be granted.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

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 High Wycombe Magistrates' Court (Law Courts, Easton Street, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, HP11 1LR, phone: 01494 651 017 email:wycombe.magistrates@hmcourtservice.gsi.gov.uk)

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

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can appeal to High Wycombe Magistrates' Court.

Consumer complaint

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 a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, see GOV.UK: Consumer rights (external website) for advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre (external website).

Licence holders may at any time apply to us for a variation of the terms, conditions or restrictions in their licence.

If an application for a variation is refused, or if the licence is revoked, the licence holder may, within 21 days of being notified of the imposition of, or the refusal to vary, the term, condition or restriction in question, or of the revocation, appeal to High Wycombe Magistrates' Court.

A licence holder may also appeal to the crown court against a decision of a magistrates' court.

Other redress

Any person objecting to an application for the grant, renewal or transfer of a licence may give written notice of their objection to us, stating the grounds of the objection, within 28 days of the date of the application.

Contact information

  • Telephone: 01494 421 346 or 01494 421 222