Toggle menu

Sex establishments and sexual entertainment venues

You will need a sex establishment licence if you would like to run a sex shop, sexual entertainment venue (lap dancing club), or a sex cinema.

  • A sex shop is a premises used for a business which consists to a significant degree of selling sex articles.
  • A sexual entertainment venue is a premises that provides relevant entertainment before a live audience for financial gain. Relevant entertainment is described as 'any live performance or display of nudity that is provided solely for the purpose of sexually stimulating any member of an audience'.
  • A sex cinema is any premises used to a significant degree for showing of films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity.

How to apply

To apply for a sex establishment licence you will need to complete the application form (PDF) [214KB] (opens new window)  and return it to us by email or by post.

Postal applications can be sent to: Licensing & Land Charges, Town Hall, Victoria Square, St Helens, WA10 1HP.

Please be aware that all new and renewal applications will be determined by the Licensing and Environmental Protection Committee.

Sexual entertainment licence fees
Application typeFee
New application£1,883.50
Renewal application£1,883.50
Transfer application£272.50


Displaying of the public notice

For a period of not less than 21 days, starting the day after we have accepted your application, you must display a notice which is:

  • At least A4 in size
  • White in colour
  • Printed legibly or typed in black ink in a font equal to or larger than 16
  • In a prominent position on the premises where it can be conveniently read from the outside by passers-by.

The public notice will need to contain the following information:

  • The name of the applicant
  • The postal address of the premises (if there is no postal address, a description of the location sufficient to identify the premises)
  • The postal address and, where applicable, the web address where the application may be inspected
  • A brief description of the application
  • The date by which an interested party or responsible authority may make representation (within the 21 days from the day after the day we accept the application)

Advertising the application in a local newspaper

You are also required to publish a notice containing the same information as your public notice in a local newspaper (the current local newspaper is the St Helens Star). You will need to ensure that the notice is published at least once during the period of 7 days starting on the day after we accept your application.