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Tattoo, piercing, electrolysis and acupuncture registration

Any business offering tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis or acupuncture must be registered with the council.

Each individual carrying out the process must be registered, as should the premises where the treatment is being carried out.

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

It is illegal to tattoo young people under the age of 18. You must be at least 18 years before you can have a tattoo. It is illegal for anyone to have a tattoo under 18 even with parental consent.

Body piercing on a young person under the age of 18 will require consent from their parent or legal guardian.

Once issued, registrations remain valid for 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 should 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 our City and Neighbourhood team.

Application fee.

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

  • Premises - £193.00
  • Person - £65.00
  • Replacement certificate - £31.00

Apply for a licence to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing or electrolysis

Apply to change an existing licence to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing or electrolysis

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 our City and neighbourhood team.

If you would like any further information you might find the links below useful:

Tattooing and body piercing guidance - toolkit

Advice and safe practice for body piercing

If you are having issues with the PDFs for these links please use the following Word document. Once completed please send it to:

Application for Registration to carry on the practice of Acupuncture, Body Piercing and Electrolysis (Word doc) [128KB]

Tattooist Application Form (Word doc) [127KB]

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