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V. Compulsory permits for prostitution businesses

According to Section 2 of the Protection of Prostitutes Act, a person operates a prostitution business if they:

  • operate an establishment used for prostitution (e.g. brothel, club, apartment),
  • provide a vehicle used for prostitution (e.g. a love-mobile),
  • organise or hold an event with prostitution (e.g. a sex party with sexual services), or
  • brokers prostitution services (e.g. an escort agency).

The Protection of Prostitutes Act requires managers of a prostitution business to apply for a permit from the local public order authorities. Permits may only be granted on certain conditions, e.g. submission of a business concept, a police clearance certificate as proof of the reliability of the manager or deputy, as well as a suitable location and the satisfaction of safety regulations.

Permits may only be issued subject to payment of a fee and for a limited time. A permit for the operation of a vehicle used in prostitution will be granted for three years at most. It can be extended on application.

If you work in a prostitution establishment (e.g. brothel, club), then you do not run a business and do not require a permit.
You also do not require a permit if you work as a prostitute alone in an apartment.
But if a person purposefully provides several persons with an apartment in order to offer sexual services, this apartment will be considered a prostitution business. Therefore, if you work in one apartment together with one or several colleagues, even if only occasionally, this apartment will usually be classified as a prostitution business that requires a permit. It also means that you or one of your colleagues will have to fulfil the obligations of an establishment manager. 

Anyone who has operated a prostitution business before 1 July 2017 was required to report the business to the competent authorities by 1 October 2017 and must have placed an application for the operation of a prostitution business by 31 December 2017. The authorities must provide certification of the report and the application. The prostitution business will be considered approved and is entitled to remain in operation until a decision is made on the application for a permit, provided the report and the application were made with all required documents and within the stated periods. The business will be closed temporarily if the applications are not placed on time and it will not be allowed to reopen until an affirmative decision on the application for a permit has been reached.
The authorities may permit certain exceptions from the minimum requirements for prostitution establishments for businesses that were in existence before 27 October 2016. For new businesses opened after 1 July 2017, the managers are first required to report the new business to the municipal public order authorities and then place an application for the issue of a permit with the district public order authorities.