How to register as a small owner-operator

Skip listen and sharing tools


To operate without a licence as a small owner-operator, or to work as a sex worker in the business, you must first register with the Business Licensing Authority (BLA).

Complete and lodge the Small owner-operator (exempt sex work service provider) registration application. Lodgement details are on the form.

There is no fee to register.

You must provide the BLA with:

  • a copy of a driver's licence or other identification document showing your date of birth and current residential address
  • all business names under which the sex work business will be carried on
  • the business address and all telephone numbers, and any electronic addresses used in carrying on the sex work business
  • if available, an Australian Business Number (ABN).

If you operate as an exempt sex work service provider without registering with the BLA, you can be fined up to 30 penalty units. For more information, view Penalties.

Planning permit

If you intend to operate a small owner-operated brothel, you must obtain a planning permit from your local council to do so for the nominated premises. The BLA cannot register you as an exempt sex work service provider until you provide them with details of the planning permit.

Landlord’s consent and lease agreement

If you intend to use a rented premises to operate a small owner-operated brothel, you must provide the BLA with a copy of the lease agreement and a completed Exempt brothel - landlord consent (Word, 437KB).

Interstate-based small owner operators

Small owner-operators based outside Victoria who register as an exempt sex work service provider in Victoria must comply with the Sex Work Act 1994 and the Sex Work Regulations 2016.

After you register

To avoid delays, please complete the form correctly and attach all necessary documents. The average processing time last quarter was 2 days.

Once you have provided the required information, the BLA will issue you with a Sex Work Act (SWA) exemption registration number.

You must use this number when advertising your brothel or escort agency. This number cannot be transferred to, or used by, any other person.

For more information about advertising, view Sex work advertising, licences and signage.

Your details will be entered onto a register and maintained by the Registrar. This register is not available to the public, but can be inspected by:

  • the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria
  • members or staff of the BLA
  • authorised police officers
  • authorised local council officers.

For more information about the register, view Public register of licensed sex work service providers.