Licence - sex shops and cinemas

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A licence is required to run a sex establishment such as a sex shop or a sex cinema.

A sex shop is a premises used for business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles.

A sex cinema is a premises used to a significant degree for showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to simulate, sexual activity.

How to apply


The fee you will pay depends on the information you supply in your application.


An applicant:

  • must be at least 18 years old
  • must not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • must not have refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises in question in the last 12 months unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal

What the law says

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Application process

When we consider an application for a sex establishment licence we have to take into account a number of deciding factors including the suitability of a location. You may wish to contact us before making an application to discuss the proposed location.

You must give public notice of your application by publishing an advertisement in a local newspaper and displaying a notice outside the premises for a specific time period to allow local residents the opportunity to comment on the application.

We normally expect the licence holder to live in the borough of Bracknell Forest and to be in direct control of the licensed premises. Applications from 'remote' owners or managers will normally be expected to be made in joint names with the local resident manager.

When we receive your application, we will consult with the police and ward members as to your suitability as an applicant and the proposed locality.

How long will it take to process my application?

We aim to process your application within 28 days of receiving it. Please contact us if you have not heard from us by the end of this period.

How to appeal

Please contact us first.

Any applicant who is refused a licence or wants to object to a condition on the licence can appeal to their local magistrates' court within 21 days of receiving notice of the decision.

Complaints about sex establishments

If you want to complain that a sex establishment is causing a nuisance, or if you believe that there has been a breach of licence conditions, please contact us so we can investigate.

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