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Skin piercing, acupuncture and tattoo licence

If you carry out a business involving any of the following treatments you must register the premises and activities with the council:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • micro blading
  • semi-permanent skin colouring
  • electrolysis
  • ear or body piercing.

The purpose of registration is to prevent infection of the person whose skin is pierced. Staff carrying out the procedures and the premises must comply with byelaws designed to prevent infection. 

You must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

Applying for a licence

It is illegal to conduct the above activities unless the registration has been formally approved. Once you have applied and the appropriate fee has been paid, an officer will inspect the premises. If the officer considers your procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved.  

Registrations are not transferable or subject to renewal.

Registration is not required if the activity is carried out under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner. 

Apply for a skin piercing, acupuncture or tattoo licence

Tattooing of under 18's

Under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969, it is against the law to tattoo a person who is under the age of 18. Parental consent cannot be accepted if the person is under the age of 18. If a person is tattooed and they are under the age of 18 the tattoo artist could face a criminal record, a fine of up to £1000 and be at risk of losing their registration.  


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