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Sex shops and cinema venues licence


To operate a sex shop such as selling sex toys, books or videos, you’ll need a licence from the local authority. You will also need a licence from the local authority to run a venue where explicit films are shown to members of the public.

Before you start

Applications must contain all the requested information, including the applicant’s name, address and where the applicant is an individual, their age, plus the address of the premises.

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

Applicants must give public notice of their application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper.

If you do not hear from the council after 28 days you submitted your application, you can assume your licence application has been granted.


Fee typeCost
Application for a New Premises Licence£1855
Annual Renewal Fee£1252
Transfer Application£1252

You may need planning permission which will incur extra costs.

Refused application

Any applicant who is refused a licence or refused the renewal of a licence, can appeal to the local Magistrates’ Court.

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.

A licence holder who wishes to appeal against a condition can also appeal to a local Magistrates’ Court.

Contact details

Licensing, Doughty road depot, Doughty road, North East Lincolnshire, DN32 0LL

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: 01472 326299 option 2

Opening times: Monday to Friday 8:30am to 5pm, except bank holidays