Anyone considering engaging in acupuncture, tattooing, piercings, skin colouring, and/or electrolysis should require registration under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 and the local byelaws.

Premises registration (piercing, tattooing)

The registration can be in the name of the business so that all operators are covered OR the registration can be in the name of an individual so that only that person is covered. The registration will need to be in the name of the person or company whose business provides the service.

Personal registration (acupuncture, electrolysis)

Register the premises and person carrying on the practice of acupuncture i.e. each person carrying out acupuncture requires registration.

Electrolysis or acupuncture carried out by or under the supervision of a person who is a registered medical practitioner is exempt and does not require registration.  

A certificate of registration will only be issued if the premises/rooms to be used comply with the adopted bye-laws. The registration covers the business at that address, although a person covered by a licence may occasionally operate at another premises.

The above forms of skin piercing require the payment of a fee (reduced fee is applicable if council registration is for a business/ premises where someone has been registered by the council within the last two years). There is a requirement for re-registration if a business moves or changes hands.

Alternative medicine, beauty treatment, massage 

Although there is no registration requirement for forms of alternative medicine, beauty treatment or massage such establishments are likely to come within the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act and related legislation. Contact our Health and Protection team on 01926 456713 for advice. 

Application forms

Tacit consent does not apply to this registration. It is in the public interest for this application to be processed quickly. If you do not hear from us within a reasonable period, please contact us.

Licence fee and length

The application must be accompanied by the fee and the correct supporting documentation in order to prevent any delay in the processing or acceptance of your application.

Licence Application fee Licence fee Total fee
Premises: ear piercing, tattooing £85 £153 £238
Personal: electrolysis, acupuncture £91 £154 £245
Temporary tattoo events (per business at event) £46 £152 £198

The registration has no expiry date, subject to all of details of the registration remaining current.

Pay fees online

Checks to ensure sure that licence conditions are followed

Every premises will receive an inspection as part of an initial registration process however every personal application will receive an inspection as part of the initial and repeat registration process.

Every premises will receive compliance inspections to ensure that the conditions of the licence are being followed. These can be undertaken both proactively and reactively. Any premises that is found not to be operating in accordance with their licence will receive the appropriate action as described by the Enforcement Policy (PDF).

Contact information and complaints 

For information about licence applications or to complain about a business or person conducting the practice of skin piercing, please contact the Regulatory team.