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 our City and Neighbourhood team

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:

  • Premises - £156.06
  • Person - £52.02

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

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

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.

Public register

We are required to keep a register of approved registrations. This may be inspected by appointment during the hours Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.00pm at the City Centre Customer Services Centre at 31-32 Fawcett Street, Sunderland, SR3 1RE. 

This service is provided in partnership with the European EUGO network.

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