Skin Piercing (Acupuncture, Tattooing, Cosmetic Piercing & Electrolysis)

Licence summary

Anyone wishing to carry out "skin piercing" - specifically acupuncture, tattooing, cosmetic piercing, semi-permanent skin colouring or electrolysis - has to register with us.

The Law changed in 2005 and we can now register "body piercing" and semi-permanent makeup.

We have to register both the premises where the piercing is to be done, and each person who wants to perform the piercing.

Practitioners must comply with our Byelaws -

We check that premises and equipment are suitable, and that good hygiene is followed and sensible after-care instructions are given so as to minimise the health risks to customers.

Please phone us to check if a practitioner or premise is registered, or if you want to apply yourself.

It is legal for children to have ears and other body parts pierced from birth, but only with parental consent.

Please note it is illegal to tattoo anyone under 18.

Eligibility Criteria

Applications must include any specific information required by the local authority.

Regulation Summary

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence

Application Evaluation Process

No provision in legislation

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 us within ten days, please contact us.

Apply by post

To register a premises, practitioner or both, please this form:

Application for Registration

The form should then be returned with proof of payment of the required fee to:

Licensing, Malvern Hills District Council, Council House, Avenue Road, Malvern WR14 3AF

The current fee to apply for a personal registration can be found on our licensing fees and charges page.

Apply online

On line facilities available through the national Business Link website. Registration is simple and free. 

Payments are taken online. You need the latest version of Acrobat Reader for the process to work.

Apply to register to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, piercing and/or electrolysis

Apply to change a tattooists, piercing and electrolysis registration

Failed Application Redress

Please contact us, in the first instance.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact us, in the first instance.

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, Citizens Advice will give you advice.

From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

If you have been pierced and continue to suffer pain or swelling, you must go to your Doctor for medical advice.

Trade Associations

British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC)
British Association of Skin Camouflage
British Institute and Association of Electrolysis
Guild of Professional Beauty Therapists