Skin Piercing Registration


To offer skin-piercing treatments - including tattooing, ear and body piercing - both the responsible person for the business and the premises must be registered with the local authority.

To offer acupuncture treatments both the premises, a responsible person for the business and all persons that will be carrying out the acupuncture treatments must be registered with the local authority.



  • £137 - Application fee to be charged at time of application
  • £13 - Maintenance fee to be charged prior to issue


  • £137 - Application fee to be charged at time of application
  • £13 - Maintenance fee to be charged prior to issue


You may pay in person or over the phone (01225 477531) using a credit or debit card. 


Unless a shorter period is specifically stated, all registrations will be granted for the life of the business.  However, for administrative puposes we will check every three years that the information we hold is correct.

Eligibility Criteria 

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 Part VIII requires the following types of skin piercing to be registered with the Council:

  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Ear-piercing
  • Electrolysis

The Local Government Act 2003 amends the 1982 Act to include:

  • cosmetic piercing (ear piercing and cosmetic body piercing); and
  • semi permanent skin colouring (micropigmentation, semi permanent make up and temporary tattoos).

The Act requires that all premises used for these purposes must be registered with the local authority.

For acupuncture, every individual who practices the art must also be separately registered.

For all other types of piercing, only the responsible person who carries on the business must be separately registered.


Applications must be in writing (including by electronic means) and must include:
  • the applicant's name and address;
  • the name and address of any premises for which the registration is required;
  • details of person responsible for the business;
  • details of any acupuncture practitioners;
  • details of arrangements for cleansing of premises, fittings and equipment;
  • details of arrangements for sterilisation of instruments;
  • the fee.

Application Form


On receipt of a valid application, we will consult with:

  • Environmental Health
  • Trading Standards


Anyone wishing to make an objection to an application must give written notice of their objection to Licensing Services, stating the grounds of the objection, within 14 days of the date of the application.


There is no statutory period for determining applications; however, we aim to determine applications within 60 days.


The local authority may attach conditions to a certificate of registration.

Tacit Consent 

Tacit consent applies.  This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the 60 day target completion period.

Right of Appeal

Please contact Licensing Services in the first instance.

Customer Complaints 

If you have a complaint about a trader, we would advise you first to contact the trader – preferably by letter with proof of delivery.  If that is unsuccessful and you are in the UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau will assist you.  If you are outside of the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you believe a person is practising skin piercing without a certificate of registration, please contact Licensing Services.


A model method for hygienic skin piercing

Please contact Licensing Services for further guidance.

Relevant Legislation

Trade Associations 

Further Information 

For details of skin piercing practioners and premises, please visit our Licensing Database website.

Additional contact details.

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Data protection notice

Data protection notice

The information you have provided may be shared across Bath and North East Somerset Council for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry. We will not give information about you to anyone else, or use information about you for other purposes, unless your consent has been given or the law allows this.

The use of your personal information is covered by our registration under the Data Protection Act 1998. You can, under this legislation, request a copy of the information we hold about you. If any information we hold about you is incorrect please let us know.

Bath and North East Somerset Council is committed to upholding the principles of the Data Protection Act, and will not process your information in a way incompatible with these principles.

The Council’s Information Compliance Office can be contacted on (01225) 477000 or via email at

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