Richmondshire District Council

Running a sex shop

To run a sex shop you may need a licence from us.

A sex shop is any premises selling sex toys, books or videos.

You also need a licence to run a venue where explicit films are shown to the public.


The legislation that covers sex shops is the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Applying for a licence 

The applicant must:

  • Be at least 18
  • Not be disqualified from holding a licence
  • 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

Application forms must be in writing, including by electronic means, contain any information we require and must be accompanied by the licence fee. 

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

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