Sex business permit

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVOLast updated on Nederlandse versie

Do you plan to start a sex business in the Netherlands, for example a brothel? Ask the municipal authority which permits you need and which rules you must follow.

Find out more or arrange now

at your municipality, province, or water authority

Do you want to start or take over a sex business in the Netherlands? Then you need a permit from the municipality. If you apply for a permit for a sex business, in general this is an operating licence for sex businesses (sex establishments). This permit is subject to conditions. Sex businesses include, but are not limited to:

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

Fixed number of establishments

Some municipalities define how many sex establishments are allowed per area. You may not be allowed to start a new sex business. However, you can take over an existing sex business.

Conditions for sex business permit

Check the conditions at the municipality where you want to take over or start the sex business. In general, the conditions for an operating licence for sex businesses concern:

  • the age of the owner, manager, and sex workers (21 years or older)
  • an approved business plan
  • valid work permits for the sex workers
  • combating human trafficking and exploitation

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.

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