Skin piercing registration

Any person carrying on the business of body or skin piercing must be registered with us.

We have approved byelaws that set out standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. If you are carrying out skin piercing you must comply with these byelaws.

If your business carries out acupuncture this must be registered separately to the other skin piercing activities.

Who can apply for a skin piercing registration

You will need to register if you work in:

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

Both the premises and the person or people carrying out skin piercing need to be registered.

If you own a business involved in skin piercing you will need to register your premises. If you are working in skin piercing you need to be registered as an individual operator.


Application costs are:

  • £270 to register your premises 
  • £55 to register an individual operator (individual)
  • £15 to add or remove an operator from a premises

What you need to provide with your application

You will need to:

  • submit a completed application (and privacy statement if applying by post)
  • the required fee (or payment reference if applying by post)

What happens once you have made an application

Once we have received your application, the premises will be inspected within 28 days by the Health Protection Service to ensure that our skin piercing byelaws and health and safety requirements are being complied with.

If there are no issues, a registration certificate will be issued. If there are issues with your application you will be notified as soon as possible to resolve them.

Tacit consent will not apply

It is in the public interest that we process your application before it can be granted and you cannot assume your registration has been successful if you have not heard from us. If you have not heard from us after 28 days you should contact us. 

Apply for skin piercing registration or make changes to your current registration

You can apply online to register a skin piercing operator or premises. You can also apply to make changes to your existing registration details.

Apply by post

Before you send your application by post, you should pay online first and provide a reference of payment with your submitted application.

You can then download and print the relevant form and send it to us by post.

How to make an appeal or a complaint

If you want to appeal our decision or make a complaint you should contact us.

Members of the public who are experiencing problems with a licensed premises should contact us for advice.

Contact the Licensing Team

0114 273 4264
Monday to Friday, 10am to 4pm
Block C
Staniforth Road Depot
S9 3HD

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