Skin Piercing Licensing

Find out how to get a licence for skin piercing, including acupuncture, tattooing and ear piercing.

Any person or business carrying out a relevant skin piercing activity will need to be licensed by the Council.

This can include:

  • Cosmetic piercing (i.e. piercing of any part of the body, including the ear)
  • Semi-permanent skin-colouring (i.e. micropigmentation, semi-permanent make-up and temporary tattooing (not henna tattooing))
  • Electrolysis
  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing

Both the Person undertaking the activity and the Premises need to be licensed.

Registration will depend on compliance with our byelaws, completion of the Application Form and payment made. Read the guide to compliance with the byelaws here.


Registration is not required when skin piercing is carried out by, or under the supervision of, a person who is registered as a medical practitioner (or, in the case of acupuncture only, a Dentist).

The Registration Process

Registration is required for the person carrying out the skin piercing activity and the premises where the activity is to take place. Only one personal registration may be required, as long as the premises that the person is working at has the correct premises license to cover the activity (e.g. where the person is undertaking acupuncture at multiple sites).

How to Apply

To apply, please download and complete the application form below:

Once you have completed the form, please use the button below to submit your form and make a payment.

Pay and submit your application form


For fees please see the Licensing Fees page

What Happens Next?

When we receive your completed application form and fee, a visit may be made by one of our Authorised officers. They will check that the conditions specified in the skin piercing byelaws, and relevant Health & Safety Legislation are met. It may be required that you provide the following documentation at the time of the visit, such as:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Qualifications and Training
  • Proof of Public Liability Insurance
  • Documented Risk Assessments (if you employ over 5 persons)

If the officer is satisfied of compliance, a certificate of registration will be processed and issued. Once received, this should be displayed in a prominent position on the premises where the activities take place.

A visit from an Authorised officer may not be required under the following circumstances:

  • If it is simply a change of details (such as name of person, name of business)
  • If a Personal Registration is made to practice Skin Piercing at a premises already registered for that activity.

Where can I find more information?