Skin piercing and tattooing licences

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Licence summary

Anyone wishing to carry out “skin piercing” - specifically acupuncture, tattooing, cosmetic piercing, semi-permanent skin colouring or electrolysis - has to register with us.

We have to register both the premises where the piercing is to be done, and each person who wants to perform the piercing.

Practitioners must comply with our Skin Piercing Byelaws.

We check that premises and equipment are suitable, and that good hygiene is followed and sensible after-care instructions are given so as to minimise the health risks to customers.

You can use our online licence register to check if a practitioner or premises is registered, or if you want to apply yourself.

Eligibility criteria

Applications must include any specific information required by the local authority.

Regulation summary

Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Application evaluation process

No provision in legislation

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 10 days, please contact us.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance

Licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance

Consumer complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other redress

If you have been pierced and continue to suffer pain or swelling, you must go to your Doctor for medical advice.

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