Sex Establishment Licence

A sexual entertainment venue is any premises at which live performances or live display of nudity is provided. This includes lap dancing, strip shows and similar entertainment.

A sex shop is any premises used for the business of selling, hiring, exchanging, lending, displaying or demonstrating sex articles, or other things intended for use in connection with sexual activity. This includes adult films and magazines.

A sex cinema is any premises used for exhibition of moving pictures which are primarily concerned with portraying sexual activity.

Eligibility criteria

To apply for a licence, you must be:

  • At least 18 years old.
  • Not disqualified from holding a licence.
  • Resident in the UK for at least six months immediately before the application or for corporate bodies, be incorporated in the UK.
  • Not have been refused a licence for the premises in the last 12 months unless it was reversed on appeal.

Apply for a licence

Apply for a Sex Establishment Licence

An application fee must be paid when you make your application. We will confirm that we have received both your application and fee and arrange to carry out an inspection of your premises.

You are legally required to advertise Notice of Application (opens in new window) in the local press. You must also display a notice outside the premises for a specific period of time, giving residents the opportunity to comment.

When considering your application, we will look at:

  • your suitability
  • whether you are a 'front' for someone else
  • the character of the area
  • relevant representations made.


You can appeal to Mansfield Magistrates' Court against a decision. This must be done within 21 days from receiving our decision notice.

This applies to:

  • application refusal (new, renewal or variation)
  • conditions attached to a licence
  • revocation.

The right to appeal does not apply if the refusal was on the grounds that:

  • The number of sex establishments in the areas is more than we consider appropriate.
  • It would be inappropriate considering the character of the area, the nature of other premises in the area or the premises themselves.

You may also appeal to the Crown Court against a decision of a Magistrates' Court.

Our policy

Our Sexual Entertainment Venue Policy (opens in new window) outlines how we deal with applications for a licence. There is no maximum number of establishments for the area. However we will consider new applications and locations robustly before granting any licences.