Skin piercing and tattooing licence

Licence summary

To run any form of skin piercing or tattooing business including acupuncture, ear and body piercing and electrolysis (whether from premises or mobile), a licence must be obtained from your local authority. You may be exempt if you are a regulated health care professional.

Eligibility Criteria Your application must be in writing (including by electronic means), in the form specified by the Local Authority and accompanied by any requested fee. You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.

You must meet strict standards with regard to your:

  • premises
  • facilities
  • equipment

Regulation Summary

See the External Links section on this page for the regulation summary.

Application Evaluation Process

Your premises will be visited and inspected. Public notice of the application may be given in a local newspaper and objections may be considered. The Local Authority may make such reasonable inquiries as they think fit and include the results of these inquiries in matters they take into account, but where they intend to include any of these results they must notify you.
You may be given the opportunity to make representations.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that the authority must process your application before it can be granted. If you have not heard from the local authority within a reasonable period, please contact it. You can do this online if you applied through the UK Welcomes service.

Apply online

Please use the link under the External Links section on this page to submit an application.

Failed Application Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. You can request reasons in writing or online for the refusal within 28 days of the date of the decision. You may appeal to the sheriff against the decision which must be lodged within 28 days from the date of the decision.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact your Local Authority in the first instance. You can request reasons in writing for a refusal to renew, a variation or suspension of a licence within 28 days of the date of the decision. You may appeal to the sheriff against the decision which must be lodged within 28 days from the date of the decision.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

If your application is refused you cannot apply again in respect of the same activity in the same area within one year of the refusal unless there has been a material change of circumstances. Any party to an appeal to the sheriff may appeal on a point of law from the sheriff's decision to the Court of Session within 28 days from the date of that decision.

Page last updated: 11 June 2015