Apply for this licence

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Contact your council for a licence if you want to run a sex establishment or sex cinema in Northern Ireland.


You must:

  • be at least 18
  • not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • have been a resident in the UK for the last 6 months, or be an incorporated UK body
  • not have been refused a licence or renewal in the last 12 months, unless it was reversed

Once you have your licence you must not:

  • employ anyone who is disqualified from holding a licence
  • allow anyone under 18 to visit or work at your premises

How to apply

Apply to the council in the area your business will operate.

Your application must include:

  • your personal details (including any criminal convictions)
  • an application fee
  • any relevant supporting documents

Once you’ve applied, you must:

  • publish an advert about your application in a local newspaper
  • display a notice about your application in or near your premises for 21 days

You’ll need to renew your licence yearly.


You might be allowed to operate without a licence if the council decides that it would be unreasonable or inappropriate for you to have one.

You can request an exemption when you apply for your licence, or your council might allow you to apply for one separately.

Fines and penalties

You could be fined up to £20,000 if you break the conditions of your licence.

You must let the council inspect your premises if they have a warrant.