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Q: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   8 Comments )
Subject: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: adejade-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 20 May 2006 05:49 PDT
Expires: 19 Jun 2006 05:49 PDT
Question ID: 730685
I am buying a shop which is freehold but I will have a commerical
mortgage on the premisis. The shop has 3 rooms which I would like to
have girls providing sex for clients. I would advertise the shop as a
massage parlour and would have a receptionist. Clients would pay for
the amount of time and could choose which girl they wanted. Would this
be legal or would my plan need to be modified. Would I need a licence
to operate in this fashion?
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 20 May 2006 08:39 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear adejade-ga,

Please note the disclaimer at the bottom of this page. This is not
legal advice. I would advise you to speak to a solicitor to obtain

Prostitution in the UK is not illegal. That is, a person paying
another for sex. However, your question phrased ?I would like to have
girls providing sex for clients? means that you would be committing an
offence of running a brothel. You are knowingly providing women for
prostitution and benefiting from it.

The relevant legislation is the Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Section 55 of the Act amended Section 33 of The Sexual Offences Act
1956 to create ?an offence for a person to keep, or to manage, or act
or assist in the management of, a brothel to which people resort for
practices involving prostitution (whether or not also for other

You would also possibly be committing offences under Sections 52 and 53.

Section 52 Causing or inciting prostitution for gain
Section 53 Controlling prostitution for gain

These guidelines from the Crown Prosecution Authority provided this guidance.

?Keeping a brothel
The Law

Section 33 Sexual Offences Act 1956 

What constitutes a brothel is a matter of fact and degree. Most
brothels are used for the purpose of prostitution. In the more unusual
circumstances where no payment is made for sexual services, you should
consult the relevant case law.

Brothel keepers should normally be prosecuted, especially if they are
making money out of the enterprise.

You have greater discretion in charging those who have assisted, such
as receptionists. If the assistance is crucial to the operation of the
brothel or the receptionist has been involved for a long period of
time, a prosecution will normally be appropriate. If the assistance is
minor or over a short period of time, a prosecution may not
automatically result.?

The Terrance Higgins Trust has a web site on advice for sex workers.
Some parts of it deals with Brothels., You may wish to read it.

?What the prosecution has to prove
(i) That the premises you are working in classify as a brothel and
(ii) that you were aware of this and
(iii) that you were keeping, managing or assisting in its management.?

I am not permitted by the terms of Google Answers to advise you how to
get around this problem.

To open a massage parlour you may need a licence. You would have to
speak to the local council where you intend opening it. For instance,
London and Birmingham councils issue Special Treatments Licences. You
have to complete a long application form and provided full details of
yourself and who will be working there and their qualifications. The
forms can be found on the links below. Councils will not grant a
licence for sex services.

You will also probably need Planning Permission. Again this depends on
the local council. You are altering the use of the building, and there
are factors such as noise, location (is it in a residential area), and
other factors.

Your premises will be subject to regular health and safety inspections
as they are a workplace.
Health and Safety Executive web site.

Special Treatments Licence
Application form

London Local Authorities Act 1990. Part II.
Southwark Council

Leicester Council discussion document on planning for massage parlours.
Class A1 (shops) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987.

Stoke council discussion document on massage parlours.
?Massage parlours operate legally when sex services are not offered. Where
sex services are offered, offences of keeping a brothel or living off immoral
earnings may make the operation illegal.?

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you
adejade-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars

Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: pafalafa-ga on 20 May 2006 05:52 PDT
If Amsterdam is in the UK, then I think you're OK...
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: probonopublico-ga on 20 May 2006 08:47 PDT
Sorry, Paf but, like most Americans, your understanding of European
geography is woeful.

Amsterdam is not in the UK.

You are now allowed only two more guesses.
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: edejl-ga on 20 May 2006 11:38 PDT
That knowledge of the UK IS shocking!

Did I hear on the news last year that some places were going to allow
small brothels in order to improve the safety for prostitutes? I'm not
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: tonyczar-ga on 20 May 2006 15:28 PDT
On behalf of all Americans, let me apologize to the world for our
general lack of geographical knowledge.  I can only attest to the
truthfulness of this indictment.

Amsterdam in the UK!  Any gentleman knows that Amsterdam is an Avenue
in Manhattan, running parallel to Broadway.   ;-)
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: probonopublico-ga on 20 May 2006 21:34 PDT
Many thanks, tonyczar-ga ...

On behalf of all Europeans, I accept your apology and your
identification of the correct location of Amsterdam.

Well done!
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: frde-ga on 21 May 2006 03:53 PDT
Classic !
- are luncheon vouchers part of your business plan ?

You could get famous
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: murunbuchstansinger-ga on 21 May 2006 15:17 PDT
If I recall correctly, they will allow 2 independent girls work
together and employ a receptionist.  This will not allow for someone
to be "employing" the girls.
Subject: Re: Operating a massage parlour/ brothel in the UK
From: mongolia-ga on 27 May 2006 17:25 PDT
Excellant comment Frde-ga!!

Club Med Beads might do the job as well.

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