How to apply to register for acupuncture, tattooing, piercing, electrolysis

Guide to registration

You must register with us if you wish to operate as a person or business involving any form of skin piercing. These include:

  • Tattooing
  • Acupuncture
  • Body piercing
  • Electrolysis treatments
  • Semi-permanent make-up

This is a legal requirement under:


There are two types of registration:

If you work at your own premises, then you must apply for both types of registration.

What happens next?

When we receive your application/s, an officer from our Environmental Health (Commercial) Team will contact you.

What must I do?

You must meet the following legal requirements and safe practice guidelines to become registered:

  • Be aware of the requirements of the Tattooing and body piercing guidance tool kit available from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health: policy resources relating to health and safety (
  • Operate clean, hygienic premises
  • Ensure high hygienic status of all instruments, equipment and materials
  • The health and welfare of clients must be maintained at all times
  • Comply to all general health and safety requirements

What else do I need to I do?

When you receive your registration certificate it must be displayed in a position where it can be seen at all times.

You must have employers liability insurance (if you employ staff) and we recommend you also have public liability insurance.

Where can I get further information?

If you would like further information about the requirements, guidelines and byelaws for any form of skin piercing, please contact Environmental Health: Environmental Health contact form

The Health and Safety Executive ( have information on the ventilation of premises used for all types of skin piercing.

Last updated:‎ ‎26‎/‎07‎/‎2023‎ ‎14‎:‎21‎