If you're operating a business in the Sunderland area that carries out tattooing, ear piercing, acupuncture or electrolysis, you need to register with us.

Both the person carrying out the process, and the premises where the treatment is being carried out need to be registered.

Applicants will need to ensure that their procedures, equipment and facilities comply with local bylaws - are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease, and comply with the duty of care required by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974.

It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the premises and the person carrying out the activity are both registered with the council.

Once issued, registrations remain valid as long as the premises is used for the practice of acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing, cosmetic piercing or electrolysis, however once registered you must inform us of any changes to the details provided.

Members of the public should only use registered premises and practitioners, and ask for proof of registration before beginning a procedure.

If you are unsure if a premises is registered and wish to check, or you suspect a premises is not registered, please contact us.

Regulation summary

You can access a summary and the relevant legislation in the 'External links' below.

Application evaluation process

Environmental health officers will visit your premises to check whether it complies with local bylaws.

Application fee

The fees for registration to carry out tattooing, piercing, acupuncture or electrolysis are as follows:


Will 'tacit consent' apply?

If you do not hear from us within 28 days, you have the legal right to assume that your notification is successful.

However, if you have not heard from us within 14 days of submitting your application, we request that you contact us..

Apply online

You can apply online by using the 'Do it online' section of this page.

Public register

We are required to keep a register of approved registrations. These records may be inspected by appointment during normal opening hours at the City Centre Customer Services Centre at 31-32 Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR3 1RE.

Failed application redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

Consumer complaint

Please contact us in the first instance.

Trade associations

Please see the 'External links' below.