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Government information for entrepreneurs

Sex business permit

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

If you operate a sex business in the Netherlands, you may need a permit from your local municipality. This permit is subject to conditions. Sex businesses include, but are not limited to:

  • sex cinemas
  • brothels
  • escort businesses
  • erotic massage parlours

New obligation for permits for sexwork in the future

All prostitutes and owners of sex businesses will be obliged to apply for a permit in the future. Working as a prostitute without a permit will be an offence. This will also apply to self-employed prostitutes (working at home), the escort sector, brothels and all forms of commercial sexual services.

To apply for an obligatory permit in prostitution, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Must be 21 years old or over;
  • Must be self-reliant enough to carry out sex work safely;
  • Must have a telephone on your person during the sex work.

Permits will be issued to an individual with a unique number and will be valid throughout the Netherlands. No date has been set for these changes. Sex workers can give their opinionExternal link online on the new regulations until 15 December.

Online application procedure via Message Box

You can apply for a sex business permit also via Message Box. Message Box is a secure email system that enables you as an entrepreneur to exchange digital messages with Dutch government agencies.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO

This information is provided by

Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVO