Hypnotism Licence Application

If you want to hire a hypnotist to put on a show for you at your pub or club, you will have to apply for a hypnotism licence.

To apply for a hypnotism licence you will need to:

read the conditions attached to all hypnotism licences

Conditions attached to a consent to perform hypnotism


a) no poster, advertisement or programme for the performance which is likely to cause public offence shall be displayed, sold or supplied, by or on behalf of the licensee either at the premises or elsewhere

b) every poster, advertisement or programme for the performance which is displayed, sold or supplied shall include, clearly and legibly, the following statement;

“ Volunteers, who must be aged 18 or over, can refuse at any point to continue taking part in the performance”


c) the performance shall be covered to a reasonable level by public liability insurance. The hypnotist must provide evidence of this to the Local Authority if requested; and must be available for inspection at the performance

Physical arrangements

d) the means of access between the auditorium and the stage for participants shall be properly lit and free from obstruction

e) a continuous white or yellow line shall be provided on the floor of any raised stage at a safe distance from the edge. This line shall run parallel with the edge of the stage for its whole width. The hypnotist shall inform all subjects that they must not cross the line while under hypnosis, unless specifically told to do so as part of the performance

Treatment of audience and subjects

f) before starting the performance the hypnotist shall make a statement to the audience, in a serious manner, identifying those groups of people who should not volunteer to participate in it; explaining what volunteers might be asked to perform; informing the audience of the possible risks from embarrassment or anxiety; and emphasising that subjects may cease to participate at any time they wish. The following is a suggested statement which may be amended as necessary to suit individual styles so long as the overall message remains the same:

“ I shall be looking for volunteers aged over 18 who are willing to be hypnotised and participate in the show. Anyone who comes forward should be prepared to take part in a range of entertaining hypnotic suggestions but can be assured that they will not be asked to do anything which is indecent, offensive or harmful, Volunteers need to be in normal physical and mental health and I must ask that no-one volunteers if they have a history of mental illness, are under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or are pregnant.”

g) no form of coercion shall be used to persuade members of the audience to participate in the performance. In particular, hypnotists shall not use selection techniques which seek to identify and coerce onto the stage the most suggestible members of the audience without their prior knowledge of what is intended. Any use of such selection techniques (e.g. asking members of the audience to clasp their hands together and asking those who cannot free them again to come onto the stage) should only be used when the audience is fully aware of what is intended and that participation in entirely voluntary at any stage

h) if volunteers are to remain hypnotised during an interval in the performance, a reasonable number of attendants as agreed with the licensing authority shall be in attendance throughout to ensure their safety

Prohibited actions

i) the performance shall be so conducted as not to be likely to cause offence to any person in the audience or any hypnotised subject

j) the performance shall be so conducted as not to be likely to cause harm, anxiety or distress to any person in the audience or any hypnotised subject. In particular the performance shall not include:

i) any suggestion involving the age regression of a subject (i.e.), asking the subject to revert to an earlier age in their life; this does not prohibit the hypnotist from asking subjects to act as if they were a child etc.)

ii) any suggestion that the subject has lost something (e.g. a body part) which, if it really occurred, could cause considerable distress

iii) any demonstration in which the subject is suspended between supports (so-called “catalepsy”)

iv) The consumption of any harmful or noxious substance

v) Any demonstration of the power of hypnosis to block pain (e.g. pushing a needle through the skin)

k) the performance shall not include giving hypnotherapy or any other form of treatment

and complete the application form:

There is no fee for a hypnotism licence, but you will have to supply details about the hypnotist’s public liability insurance, professional memberships and details of the hypnotist’s last three performances.

Return your completed applications forms by email to entertainment.licensing@leeds.gov.uk. You can also post us your application to:

Entertainment Licensing,
Civic Hall,

If you have not heard from us within 60 days of making your application, you can assume that your licence has been granted.

Consumer Protection

Should you have cause for complaint in relation to licensed premises, we would always recommend that you write to the business first. If that does not work please contact us and providing it is a matter covered by the legislation, we can investigate the complaint for you.​    

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