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Prostitution Licensing Authority › The Law › The Prostitution Act 1999

The Prostitution Act 1999

Background to the Prostitution Act 1999

The Prostitution Act 1999 (the Act) came into effect on 1 July 2000. The Act allows applications for a brothel licence or for a certificate as an approved manager. The Act may be downloaded from

Who will issue licences/certificates?

The PLA was established to issue brothel licences to operate a brothel and certificates to be an approved manager at a brothel. For more information about the PLA and its members refer to our web page entitled About the PLA.

Does the Prostitution Act regulate ‘sole operators’?

Individual sex workers (‘sole operators’, ‘private workers’) are not prevented from conducting their business under the Act. However, the restrictions placed on sole operators continue to apply so that a single sex worker must not be found on premises with any other person, unless the other person has a current crowd controller’s licence under the Security Providers Act 1993 and is only participating in the provision of prostitution as a bodyguard. The law relating to prostitution by sole operators is contained in the Criminal Code and remains unchanged.

The Act provides for ‘sole operator’ advertising and requires persons providing prostitution services, including sole operators, to use a prophylactic. Any prostitution advertising by sex workers must be in the approved form. It is an offence to publish an advertisement for prostitution that is not in the approved form. The PLA has developed Guidelines about the approved form for advertisements for prostitution. Any person wishing to place or publish an advertisement must self-assess the proposed advertisement against the guidelines and thereby determine whether the advertisement is in the approved form. An advertisement which complies with the guidelines will be in the approved form. Unless approval of the PLA is specifically required under the guidelines, all advertisements are to be self-assessed. Rather than approving advertisements, the main role of the PLA is to provide advice to advertisers and publishers on the application of the guidelines. The PLA may be contacted by telephone on 07 3858 9500 or via email at for that purpose.

Where can I get a licence or certificate application form?

Licence and Certificate forms are available from the Office of Prostitution Licensing Authority or can be downloaded from this website. Applicants are advised that the process for receiving, vetting and considering applications may take some time. 


Last updated 01/06/2017