Sex shop licence

If you use any premises, vehicle or stall as a sex shop, you will need a licence from Fife Council.

If you think that you do not require a licence for your business, you should contact the Council to find out more.

You must give notice of your application by publishing an advertisement in a newspaper specified by the Council within seven days of the application. Notice of the application must also be displayed for 21 days, from the date of the application, on or near the premises in a place where the notice can conveniently be read by the public.


You must be aged 18 or over.
You must not be disqualified from holding a licence, and you must be a fit and proper person to be the holder of the licence.
You must not have been refused a licence for the same premises within the last year.
The premises and their location must be suitable for the use proposed.
There must not be an overprovision of sex shops in the locality.

Click here for a link to the main licensing legislation

How to Apply

You can apply for a Sex Shop licence online using the form to the right of this page.

An application fee is payable and applications must:
  • be in writing (including by electronic means)
  • be signed by the applicant (including by electronic means)
  • contain the applicant's age, name and address and those of any employee who will manage the activity on a day-to-day basis, and the area in which the activity will take place

Fife Council will:

  • advertise the application in a newspaper
  • send a copy of the application to Police Scotland (Fife Division)
  • send a copy of the application to The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service
  • send a copy of the application to the Council’s Planning Service 
  • send a copy of the application to the Council’s Trading Standards Service 
  • keep a register of applications in which it will enter the details of the receipt of the application, its final decision, the details of the terms of each licence granted and a note of any suspension, variation of the terms, or surrender, of a licence
The register is available for inspection by any member of the public at reasonable times and places and any member of the public is permitted to make a copy of it.

For further information on the application process please consult the attached publication titled 'Sex Shop Licence - application pack'.

Tacit consent will not apply - if your application is not granted, you may not operate your business.

Failed Application

Please contact Fife Council if you wish to find out why your application was refused.

Within 21 days of the date of the decision to refuse the application, you may require the Council to give written reasons for its decision.

You may appeal to the Sheriff against the decision within 28 days of the decision, provided you have already followed all available procedures to stating your case to the Council.

Any appeal will only be successful if the Sheriff considers that the Council, in making its decision:
  • erred in law
  • based its decision on an incorrect material fact
  • acted contrary to natural justice
  • exercised its discretion in an unreasonable manner
You may appeal again on a point of law from the Sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of the Sheriff's decision.



Regulation Team
Tel: 03451 55 11 77 Contact Regulation Team online
By Post: Fife House North Street Glenrothes Fife KY7 5LT
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