According to the documentation: http://saxonica.com/saxon-c/index.xml#license ~~~ Location of the Saxon license file for commercial products: Saxon/C looks in the path relative to where the main library has been installed. For example, in '/usr/lib', if this is where libsaxon[EDITION]c.so has been installed. Alternatively, Saxon also looks for the license according to the environment variable SAXONC_HOME, if this has been set. ~~~ After inspecting the code it seems to me that the license Verify class does not look in the directory relative to the main library. Therefore the license file can only be picked up either by the setting of the SAXONC_HOME environment variable or by placing the license file relative to the XSLT stylesheet.