Operate a sex services business

If you want to operate a sex services business that has three or more sex workers, you must apply for a suitability certificate.

What a sex services business does

A sex services business provides for, or arranges, sex work.

This includes services provided on the premises or in a different location.

Who can apply

Individuals, companies, partnerships and body corporates can apply for a suitability certificate.

To apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • be at least 18 years old
  • have not been found guilty of a relevant offence – see below
  • have not been bankrupt
  • have not had a suitability certificate or similar certificate revoked in another state or territory.

Relevant offences

You can't apply for a suitability certificate if you have been found guilty of any of these indictable offences:

  • dangerous drug use or possession - other than, less than a traffickable quantity
  • assault
  • sexual assault
  • fraud or dishonesty
  • theft
  • against the Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth) or a work health and safety law.

How to apply

You must apply for a suitability certificate before you operate your sexual services business.

If you are a body corporate or partnership, you must apply for a suitability certificate for:

  • each executive officer and nominee of a body corporate
  • each partner in a partnership.

An executive officer of a body corporate is someone who is a director or takes part in the management of the organisation.

You must get a police history check.

By email, mail, fax or in person

To apply by mail, email, fax or in person, follow these steps:

Step 1. Fill in the application for a sex services operator's suitability certificate DOCX (76.5 KB).

Step 2. Pay the $124 application fee.

Step 3. Submit your application and fee at any Territory Business Centre.

After you apply

If your application is approved, you will receive your certificate in the post.

You won’t need to renew your certificate while you operate your business.

If you move to another sexual services business, you will need to apply for a separate certificate.

Rules for advertising your business

There are guidelines you must follow if you want to advertise your sexual services business.

Last updated: 01 July 2021

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