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 Part 8, The Local Government (miscellaneous provisions) Act 1982 ( and the Local Government Act 2003 Section 120 (


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?

Once your premises application has been received, an officer from our Environmental Health (Commercial) Team will visit your premises.

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

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

Last updated:‎ ‎03‎/‎08‎/‎2022‎ ‎14‎:‎53‎