Interests and associates – sex work service providers

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Interests

A person has an interest in a licence if the licence is granted to, or held by, that person or an associate.

There are two exceptions - you do not have an interest in a licence granted to, or deemed to be held by:

  • a business partner, if their licence relates to the same premises as the licence you hold
  • another person, if they only work as an approved manager of your brothel. This allows an approved manager to work for more than one licensee, provided they have no other interest in the licence.

People have an interest in a brothel planning permit if it was granted to them or their associate.

Prohibition of multiple interests in brothels

The Sex Work Act 1994 prohibits a person from having, at any one time, an interest in more than one:

  • brothel licence, or
  • unexpired permit granted to use land to operate a brothel, where this use has begun.

The provisions relating to multiple interests can be complicated, so seek independent legal advice if you believe you may be affected.

Associates

Associates are people or companies associated with a licensee or an approved brothel manager. The Business Licensing Authority needs to know about associates because of the influence they can have on how an approved brothel manager acts, or how a brothel or escort agency business is run. The Sex Work Act has a complex definition of who is – and who is not – an associate of a licensee.

A person is your associate if:

  • they are your relative (other than an uninvolved relative) of the other or
  • they are your business partner of the other or
  • they, or an associated company, enters a business arrangement with you that:
  • involves using, occupying or managing land and
  • will enable them to exercise significant influence over your sex work service providing business or,
  • they lease (directly, or as a sub-lessee) land used for a brothel that you own or lease.

A person is an associate of a company if they:

  • are its director or secretary
  • are the spouse or domestic partner of its director or secretary
  • hold (or will hold) any relevant financial interest in the company, and can (or will be able to) exercise significant influence over its management or operation
  • exercise any relevant power in the company, either themselves or on behalf of someone else, and can (or will be able to) exercise significant influence over its management or operation
  • hold or will hold any relevant position in the company, themselves or on behalf of someone else.

Associates of sex work service providers and brothel managers can also include involved and uninvolved relatives.

An involved relative includes:

  • your spouse or domestic partner
  • your parent, son, daughter, brother or sister
  • a parent, son, daughter, brother or sister of your spouse or domestic partner

An uninvolved relative:

  • is not, and has never been involved in any business of yours involving sex work or
  • does not propose to be involved in the business that you propose to conduct as licensee or supervise as approved manager.

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