Legal Considerations for Starting an Adult Website

When you start your adult website, you may be focused on choosing its design and the content you want; however, like any business, it comes with specific legal responsibilities that you must comply with as you operate. 

Adult Site Broker has investigated the current legal landscape for the adult entertainment industry. Below, we have set out the most important legal considerations for starting an adult website.  

Before we start, a disclaimer. We are not attorneys. Before making any legal decisions, make sure to consult a licensed attorney in the areas you plan to do business. 

Data and Privacy

Most countries have their own set of data and privacy laws setting out how websites should hold and dispose of customers’ sensitive data, including names, addresses, banking details, email addresses, and other identifiable information such as browsing history and data. GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) are the most common. These laws outline the structures in which businesses can go about processing personal data, outlining rights for individuals, requests for removals, and penalties for non-compliance.

Licenses, IP, and Copyright

As you upload content onto your porn website, you need to make sure that your content does not violate any piracy laws. This means when you upload porn videos and images, you need to buy the licensing agreements to have the content on your site. 

When it comes to third parties violating these rules, the most common thing that happens is when third parties steal OnlyFans content and upload clips and images for free onto porn sites. To protect content creators, they can send a DMCA takedown notice to the website where their stolen content is, and the website should remove it.   

If you are seen violating these or ignoring the DMCA takedown notices for your site, you may be sued for copyright infringement or fined. In today’s legal climate, allowing content to be uploaded to your site is bad practice.

Age Verification and Model Release Forms

The role of these documents is to ensure that your performers not only consent to having their content uploaded and sold, as well as other clauses, including invasion of privacy, consent, sexually transmitted infections, sexual harassment, condom usage, and character/persona rights. You must also have separate documents showing that performers are over 18. As a porn website, you now also have the added responsibility of ensuring that your users are also over the age of 18 as well in many places. 

Record Keeping

Under the law, credit card processors will require you to record all your licenses, model release forms, and age verification documents when setting up credit card processing on your adult website. In the US, the publication of sexually explicit media on a website generally requires a Section 2257 disclosure statement, which identifies the location of the mandatory records. 

Obscenity, Prostitution, Indecency, and Underage Materials Legislation

Although the distribution of porn is legal in the majority of countries around the world, you may find that certain countries have specific obscenity laws in place that can limit access to specific types of porn. This can include hardcore BDSM, squirting, and illegal acts such as violence, snuff movies, bestiality, and incest. As well as this, many places have indecency laws.

Certain countries have also made prostitution illegal, which can cause issues with escort sites.   

Finally, it is on you as the porn website owner to ensure that all content uploaded to your website meets these legal requirements but also doesn’t feature anyone underage.  

Website Policies, Terms and Conditions

As a porn site owner, you need to make sure that you have the relevant documentation on your website, including users’ terms and conditions, privacy policies, advertisers’ agreements, DMCA notice and takedown policies, affiliate agreements, model agreements, anti-spam policies, copyright/trademark assignments, human trafficking, and abuse policies, model agreements, a website agreement policy, data protection, and GDPR policies. Each of these documents is intended to address a unique set of legal concerns. Correctly implementing and utilizing these important agreements and policies are essential to mitigate legal risks. 


In 2018, the FOSTA bill was passed in the US; the bill aims to prohibit the promotion and facilitation of prostitution and human trafficking and, secondly, remove the legal protections afforded to websites previously making them now liable in connection with acts of prostitution or human trafficking on their website. Understanding this law as an adult website can help you understand your limits when uploading content on your website and help you shape your policies. 

Marketing and Promotion (Anti-Spam Laws)

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has imposed specific rules on adult websites to protect consumers in the US. These include the prohibition of spamming consumers with your adverts and content or fraudulent marketing and promotional material. These can result in a FTC investigation and leave your website with fines and penalties.  


As you can see, starting an adult website, especially a porn site, isn’t just about making sure you have killer content and a great website. It also requires that you take your legal responsibilities seriously. 

By understanding the legal considerations you will need to undertake upon starting a porn site, you can make sure that you are complying with your legal obligations from the start. Preventing you from running into any legal troubles such as fines or even legal proceedings as you start your journey in the adult entertainment industry, 

Read More from Adult Site Broker here: 

Sites Where You Can Buy Porn Video Licenses 

How Do The New Age Verification Laws Affect Porn Sites? 

The Future of Pornography

Lets Talk

Please fill out the following form if you're interested in getting in touch with a member of our team.

Please note that we do not sell your porn movies or any kind of content. Adult Site Broker sells websites and companies only.

Your Name(Required)
Your Email Address(Required)
Please include your country code. Example +19876543210
The URI of the contact form location when submitted
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.