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Running a skin piercing business

You are required to register with the Council if you wish to practice any of the following activities:

  • Cosmetic/body piercing
  • Tattooing inc. semi-permanent skin colouring
  • Electrolysis
  • Acupuncture

The law requires both the practitioner, and the premises where the skin piercing activity is to take place, to be registered with the Council. Additional practitioners must register with the council at each premises they trade from and any new skin piercing activities undertaken in the premises must also be registered (for example a tattooist wanting to do body piercing).

Once we have received your application form and fee we will arrange to inspect the premises for its suitability and to discuss the infection control arrangements in place to keep customers safe.

Once registered, you will be issued with a registration certificate which must be displayed in a prominent place in the premises.


If the procedure is carried out under the supervision of a registered medical practitioner, then you are not required to register with us.

Age of consent

There is no legal age restriction for cosmetic piercing in England and Wales.

Under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 it is an offence to tattoo persons under 18 years of age.

When this content has been updated

Last updated 7 March 2024