How to licence a sex establishment

Following legislation in April 2011, the Royal Borough of Greenwich now licences:

  • sex shops
  • sex cinemas
  • sexual entertainment venues - including striptease, lap dancing and other similar establishments.

These venues are known as sex establishments.

Any person wishing to operate a sex establishment will require a sex establishment licence from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

How to apply

To apply for a sex establishment licence, you need to do the following:

1. Read the guidance

You can download the guidance, or contact us and we will post it to you.

Download the sex establishment licence application pack

2. Complete the application form

Either download it or contact us and we will post the application pack to you.

Download the sex establishment licence application form

3. Submit your application

Send five copies of the following documentation to us:

  • a completed application form
  • a plan to a stated scale of the premises to which the application relates
  • a non-returnable application fee.

The current fees are:

Sex licence fees
Type of application Current fee
Grant £22,946.42
Renewal £22,946.42
Variation £10,390.35
Transfer Price on request

4. Advertise your application

You need to:

  • display a notice at the premises for 21 days (grants, variations and renewals only).
  • place an advertisement in a local newspaper advertising the application (grants, variations and renewals only) and send a copy of the advertisement to us.

5. What happens next?

Once we receive your complete application, we consult with various bodies and individuals outlined in the guidance notes.

All applications will be determined by the Licensing Sub Committee who will consider each application on its own merit. The applicant or applicants and any objectors will be given an opportunity to address the committee at a hearing.

The Licensing Sub Committee will communicate their decision at the end of the hearing and all parties will receive written confirmation within seven days.

Where applications are granted, they may be subject to conditions. Examples of conditions that may be attached to a licence are shown in the Pool of Conditions document.

Offences and penalties

Anyone 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.