There are many risks involved when running an escort service business, and there are certain obligations that you owe to your escorts and to your clients. To protect your business interests, we recommend having a full suite of legal documents drafted by experienced contract lawyers. If you already have certain documents in place, a contract lawyer will highlight any areas you may have missed or that need to be reviewed.

1. Privacy Policy and Manual

The Privacy Policy is between your business and each person that you collect personal information from – this may be your clients or your escorts. To comply with the Australian Privacy Principles, a well-drafted Privacy Policy will set out what personal information your business collects, how this information will be used, and under what circumstances the information will be disclosed to third parties. This needs to be accessible on your website and wherever you collect personal information.

While your Privacy Policy is between you and the public, your Privacy Manual is an internal document between your business and your staff. It should set out clear procedures for your staff to follow to ensure that your business lawfully handles personal information as you say you do in your Privacy Policy.

2. Website Terms of Use

If you have a website, as many businesses do these days, you should have a Website Terms of Use. The Website Terms of Use will address important matters, such as intellectual property rights and limitation of liability for your website, and will clearly set out the permissible and prohibited uses of your website. For an escort service, your Website Terms of Use should also expressly state that visitors should be 18 years of age or older, and if they are not, they should leave the website immediately. 

3. Contractor’s Agreement

A Contractor’s Agreement is the agreement between your business and your escorts. Your escorts agree to provide the services to your clients, and in return, you agree to pay a fee. As there are serious health risks involved in providing escort services, we recommend that you have this drafted by a contract lawyer. A good contract lawyer will be able to ensure that all the necessary obligations are covered, such as requiring the escort (and clients) to use protection at all times, to not be under the influence of illicit substances, to undergo regular sexual health checks, and to visually examine each client for STIs. 

4. Employment Agreement and Staff Handbook

If you employ any person, whether it is an escort or a receptionist, you will need to have an Employment Agreement between you and your employee. The Employment Agreement will spell out the rights and obligations of each party, set out the remuneration for the employee, including superannuation payments and leave entitlements, and also how the relationship can be terminated.

If you have a large number of staff, we also recommend having a Staff Handbook. This is designed to cover key Australian human resources issues, including workplace/occupational health and safety, alcohol and drug use, complaints procedures, bullying, harassment, etc. In particular, in the escort service industry, the Staff Handbook will need to cover issues relating to cleaning, hygiene and confidentiality of clients. Whilst the Staff Handbook is not a legally binding document, having your policies and procedures clearly set out will help minimise the chances of dispute between your business and your employees.

5. Client Terms and Conditions

The Terms and Conditions between your business and your clients create a legally binding agreement, provided that your clients had the opportunity to read the Terms and Conditions before using your services. If your services can be requested online, we recommend that you have a box with the Terms and Conditions to be scrolled through with a click-to-accept box, so that all your clients have to click a box that says, “I have read and I accept these Terms and Conditions”.

A properly drafted set of Terms and Conditions for an escort services business will cover a variety of things, including:

  • A clear scope of services;
  • How and when payment will be made;
  • What the clients’ obligations are e.g. following the reasonable directions of the escort, showering if so requested, warranting that they do not have any STIs, and not using force on the escorts;
  • What you are not liable for e.g. if the client suffers any health problems, or financial or reputational damage as a result of using the services; and
  • Rights for you to terminate and refuse services to a client under certain conditions e.g. the client being violent or uncooperative.

Conclusion

Operating an escort service is legal in New South Wales, but only if you operate your business in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state. Regulation of adult services and sex work is state-based, and if you are unsure of the applicable laws for your state, you should speak to a contract lawyer and seek advice. Contact LegalVision for a confidential conversation about your legal needs for your escort service.

Next Steps

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