A skin piercing registration covers:

  • tattooing
  • semi-permanent skin colouring
  • cosmetic piercing
  • electrolysis
  • acupuncture 

You must register yourself, any practitioners and your premises with us. Once registered, you will be issued with a certificate of registration.

This is a one-off registration and lasts as long as you intend to work from the registered premises.


You can only work in the area where you are licensed.

You must comply with our by-laws for acupunctureear piercing and electrolysis or tattooing quick guide.  These relate to staff hygiene and the safety and cleanliness of your premises, furniture and equipment.

Our by-laws are due to be updated shortly to reflect the increase in popularity of various forms of skin piercing

How to apply

If you want to run a skin piercing business you will need to apply for a skin piercing registration.  


Before you get a certificate of registration your premises will be inspected by an environmental health officer.

The officer will be assessing your business against the guidance issued for body piercingtattooing or micropigmentation.

During the visit, the officer will:

  • look at the treatments you want to offer
  • meet the staff who will be carrying out the treatment
  • carry out an inspection of the premises and equipment that will be used for the treatment
  • see evidence that the staff have the right qualifications to carry out the treatment

We strongly recommend you contact us for a visit to advise you on what you need to do to comply with the licence requirements while you are still planning the business.   

Changing your licence

Any practitioners operating from the premises will need to be named on the registration. You will need to make an application if you want to add or remove a practitioner on your registration.  

Displaying your licence

You must display your licence or a copy of it at the premises so that it can be read by anyone visiting.


Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII


 If you have an issue with a premises licensed for skin piercing there are different people you can contact depending on the problem.  

Public register

If you would like to view our public register for skin piercing registrations please contact us.

Trade associations

Hair and Beauty Industry Authority

The British Acupuncture Council

The British Medical Acupuncture Society