You will need a licence if you want to run a sex establishment,  

A sex establishment is:

  • shop or any premises selling sex toys, books or videos 
  • cinema or other a venue where explicit films are shown

How to apply

Before a licence is issued, people in the area must be given the opportunity to comment or object to the application. 

An application must be submitted and the advertisement in the local press and notice displayed at premises must match the application, the 21 day consultation period then takes place.

After this period, email your application to: or send it by post to: Department for Place, Licensing Service, PO Box 1954, Bristol, BS37 0DD. 

We will then consider your application by checking: 

  • the suitability of the applicant 
  • whether you are applying for the benefit of another
  • the location and situation of the premises in the neighbourhood
  • the number of sex establishments in the local area 

A licence will be issued subject to conditions which can include restrictions on opening hours. 


Licences are issued for a maximum period of 12 months and must then be renewed.  

For fees, use our fees and charges information.

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