Tattooing, piercing and electrolysis licences

Under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII, businesses that carry out any of the following types of skin piercing must be registered with us:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • above waist body piercing [any below waist is illegal for us to licence as it is classified as a medical procedure]
  • semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing
  • electrolysis

It is illegal to conduct skin piercing, tattooing, acupuncture, electrolysis and semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing unless the registration has been formally approved and certification provided.

Conditions you must meet to register

Registration covers both the person and the premises. The applicant 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 etc Act 1974.

The applicant must ensure that:

  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface that is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client
  • Any overall worn by staff should be clean and in good repair
  • Staff members' hands and nails must be kept clean. Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • Staff should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • Staff should have sole use of the washing facilities, which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush
  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used
  • Adequate sterilisation facilities are provided if pre-sterilised equipment is not used

We recommend that you read the full Byelaws list before you apply.

Licence fees

The licence fees are listed below.

Licence typeFee
Premises registration plus one operator £181
Premises registration plus one operator - ear piercing only £146
Additional operators £45 each
Changes to a registration £45

Apply for a registration

To apply to register your premises, you need to complete the following steps:

  • Read the full Byelaws list
  • Fill out the online form. You will be asked to give a full description of the premises, including arrangements for cleaning
  • At the end of the form, you can pay online.

Please allow 28 days for your application to be processed. Once an application has been made and a fee paid, an inspector will undertake an inspection of the premises. If the inspector considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved.

Due to maintenance work, this application form is temporarily unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience. Please contact us on  01403 215641 or at  for applications or more information.