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Staying safe in hot weather. Find out how to protect yourself and others in the summer months.

We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

You need to be registered with us if you carry out any of the following treatments:

  • Acupuncture
  • Ear piercing
  • Electrolysis
  • Tattooing

Registration is required for both the person carrying out the treatment and the premises used.  You will need to re-apply if you move premises. There are no powers to refuse registration, but the practice is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case.


  Apply for a skin piercing licence

Once an application has been made and the fee has been paid, an inspector will undertake an inspection of the premises. If the inspector considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved.

The Inspector will also check compliance with the following bye-law requirements as well as ensuring that general health and safety requirements are being met. The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to meet these obligations using a tattooing and body piercing toolkit Opens in a new window.

Tattooists will be added to the list of audited premises.


If you need to make any amendments to an existing licence please contact the Community Safety team on 01803 208025.

If there is any change in your business name, the persons registered to give treatments, or the range of treatments provided, you will need to make a new application together with the amendment fee.


Acupuncture, Body Piercing, Electrolysis & Tattoo registration

  • Premises £180
  • Practitioner (per individual) £88
  • Amendment to registration £51

Cartridge based ear piercing registration (Caflon, Studex etc)

  • Premises £98
  • Practitioner (per individual) £73
  • Amendment to registration £53

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by Health and Safety  Opens in a new window .


  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth , impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client.
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed. Cleanliness of operatives
  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair
  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by a waterproof dressing
  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • The operative should have sole use of the washing facilities which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush


  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation.
  • If tattooing is being undertaken, then all dyes used must be bacteriologically clean and inert. The containers used to hold dyes for each customer must be disposed of at the end of each treatment or sterilised before re-use.


  • It is an offence to  tattoo any person under the age of 18 years  Opens in a new window  regardless of parental consent.
  • A person under the age of 18 years may receive body piercing provided that you have received written permission from, or the treatment is performed in the presence of, the person's parent or guardian.
  • Nipple and genital piercing is prohibited on minors, regardless of parental consent.
  • The health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be discussed prior to its administration.

No, it is in the public interest that we must process your application before it is granted. It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

If you have not had a response to your application within 28 days, please contact us.