SWA (License) Numbers Explained

Victoria currently has a licensing/legalisation system of sex work laws. Consumer Affairs Victoria (CAV) is responsible for licensing sex industry business operators, as well as registering individual sex workers. Under this system all businesses and individuals engaging in legal sex work are required to obtain a Sex Work Act licence/registration number. This number must be included in all advertising, both online and in print. It consists of a series of capital letters and numbers. The SWA stands for ‘Sex Work Act’.

The following are examples of the various licensing/registration numbers used by Consumer Affairs Victoria:

License code: SWA 123B

A sex industry business operating a brothel only. The ‘B’ stands for brothel.

License code: SWA 123E

A sex industry business operating an escort agency only. The ‘E’ stands for escort agency.

License code: SWA 123BE

A sex industry business operating both a brothel and an escort agency.

License code: SWA 123XE

One or two individual sex workers (private sex workers), who are providing outcall bookings only and are exempted from obtaining an escort agency license under section 23 of the Sex Work Act. Even with this registration number, the sex worker must abide by additional restrictions or risk criminal prosecution. The XE stands for exempt escort. Of the 1008 registered independent sex workers, around 1000* have this type of registration.

License code: SWA 123XBE

One or two individual sex workers (private sex workers), who are providing both outcall and incall services, and are exempted from obtaining an escort agency license or a brothel license under section 23 of the Sex Work Act.  Even with this registration type, the sex worker must abide by additional restrictions  or risk criminal prosecution. The XBE stands for exempt brothel/escort. Of the 1008 registered independent sex workers, fewer than 10* have this type of registration.

*Source: Department of Justice and Community Safety

 

Last updated: 23 June 2019

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