Apply for an acupuncture, tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence

If you carry out any form of cosmetic piercing or tattooing, you must be registered with the Council where you operate. This is required under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Both the person performing the treatment and the premises must be registered with the local authority. These activities are not permitted to be carried out in unlicensed premises.

There is currently no provision to allow practitioners to be licensed to carry out treatments in client's own homes.

These regulations exist to ensure that you meet the relevant health and safety standards and minimise the risk of infection.

Types of application

Under Sections 14 and 15 of The Act you can register to practice the following activities:

  • Acupuncture
    • Personal registration - £103.60
    • Premises registration - £358.80
  • Electrolysis
    • Personal registration - £103.60
    • Premises registration - £358.80    
  • Cosmetic piercing
    • Personal registration - £103.60
    • Premises registration - £358.80  
  • Tattooing
    • Personal registration - £218.30
    • Premises registration - £431.10    
  • Semi-permanent skin colouring 
    • Personal registration - £218.30
    • Premises registration - £431.10    
  • Temporary personal registration -  £12 per day
  • Temporary premises registration - £300

Please note: For premises registrations (including temporary), an inspection will be carried out before the grant of the registration to ensure they are suitable for the activities requested.

Things to consider before applying

Before you consider registering with us, you should read and understand the tattooing and body piercing guidance toolkit published by Public Health England.

We also strongly recommend you read a copy of the current acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis byelaws as you will need to be compliant at all times.

Temporary registrations of premises and persons are just for short events such as exhibitions (maximum 5 days). Any person applying for a temporary registration must supply their current registration from their respective local authority.

How to apply

To register as either a practitioner and/or a premises, complete the online form below. You only need to register once.

Apply for a tattoo, piercing and electrolysis licence

Additional information

The Government is currently undertaking open consultation for non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as botox, anti-wrinkle injections, cosmetic fillers, chemical peels and energy-based treatments in England. 

Further information can be found on the licensing of non-surgical procedures in England webpage.

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