Skip to content

Skin piercing and tattooing registration

Any person carrying on the business of tattooing, electrolysis, acupuncture, semi-permanent skin colouring, ear piercing or body piercing must be registered with us.

Any premises where the business of skin piercing takes place must also be registered with us.



Skin piercing is a general term that covers:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cosmetic piercing
  • Semi-permanent skin colouring
  • Electrolysis
  • Tattooing



Acupuncture - £265 for the premises and £50 for each operator.

Cosmetic piercing, semi-permanent skin colouring, electrolysis and tattooing - £265 for the premises and £50 for each operator.

To add or remove an Operator - £15


Eligibility criteria

You must provide specific information including details of your premises and any previous convictions for practising without a registration in this field.


Regulation summary

Any such business can only be carried out in premises that are also registered.

Section 14 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 dictates the requirement for any person/s carrying out the practice of acupuncture.

Section 15 of the Act sets out the requirements for any person/s carrying out the practice of tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, ear piercing and electrolysis to be registered.

It is an offence under the Act to undertake tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis or acupuncture if the premises and operators are not registered.


Application evaluation process

The premises will be inspected by Health and Safety Enforcement Officers to ensure that our skin-piercing byelaws and health and safety requirements are being complied with.

We have adopted byelaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. If you carry out skin piercing, you must comply with these byelaws.

Download the byelaws:


Tattooing and body piercing guidance toolkit 

To assess that your business complies with current legislation health protection practitioners and health experts have produced a toolkit.

Download the toolkit:


How we will notify you

It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days of submitting your application, please contact us.



We aim to process all applications for skin piercing within 28 days.


Download an application

If you are practising at a premises already registered then you only need to register yourself as a practitioner please complete the form below:



Where a registered person is found guilty of a contravention of a byelaw, the Court, instead of, or in addition to imposing a fine, may order the suspension or cancellation of a registration.

If a registration is suspended or cancelled by a Court the registration holder may appeal to the Crown Court.


Complain or comment

Contact us about the registration process or the Health Protection Service to complain about skin-piercing activities.


European Economic Area

We are a part of the European network for delivering information relating to doing business in the European Economic Area.

Information on the EU Services Directive and Points of Single Contact for other member states from the European Commission.

  • Modified: Apr 15, 2016 1:19:18 PM