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Inside the Department

Guidelines for Adult Sex Venues

 

Article 47 of the San Francisco Health Code for Adult Sex Venues

Adult Sex Venue are any Commercial Establishment that is operated in a manner that encourages patrons to engage in, or to watch other patrons engaging in, Sexual Activities on the premises, or that as a regular part of its operations permits patrons to engage in Sexual Activities on the premises or to watch other patrons doing so.


Article 47 requires the Director of Public Health to adopt Minimum Standards Governing the Operation of Adult Sex Venues ("Minimum Standards"), which shall be designed to protect and promote the health and safety of Adult Sex Venue patrons.


Click here for a PDF of the guidelines: Minimum Standards for ASV



Below is information on permits that you may need for a Adult Sex Venues:

  • You may want to first contact the San Francisco Planning to ensure the proposed address is approved and properly zoned and that any handicap accessibility issues at the proposed location are addressed.

  • You will need to contact the Treasurer & Tax Collector to open a Business Registration Account.

Adult Sex Venues may want to add additional amenities to their business model. Please note that opening an Adult Sex Venue does not automatically qualify the business from providing these additional services. The business will need to apply and received the appropriate permits to be able to provide these services.


Adult Sex Venues that would also like to provide Massage at the same location must first receive a permit from the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH).



SFDPH Massage Program

The Massage Program regulates massage establishments and practitioners to ensure that they maintain a safe, sanitary, and lawful work environment. We issue permits, conduct inspections and respond to complaints regarding unsafe and unsanitary conditions at the massage establishments.



To obtain a SFDPH Massage permit for your business:

Contact the Massage program by email at EHmassage@sfdph.org or by calling (415) 252-3800.
For more information click here.



Adult Sex Venues that would also like to have a Bath House at the same location must first receive a permit from the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD).


SFPD Permits for Public Bath House

Permits are necessary for any business that is a Public Bath House. SFPD is responsible for ensuring that these types of businesses abide by city regulations and investigating complaints against them.


To obtain a Bath House police permit for your business:

  • Contact the Police Permits Unit by email at sfpdpermits@sfgov.org or by calling (415) 553-1115.
    For more information click here.

Helpful Links:

SF Health Code: Article 47 Adult Sex Venues

SF Health Code: Article 29 Licensing and Regulations of Massage Practitioner and Massage Business

SF Police Code: Article 26 Regulations for Public Bath Houses