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Legal By Laws

Please apply to your Local Council.  Below is an example of what they need

By Laws for Piercing the Skin.

Do I need this licence?

Anyone who wishes to carry on the practice of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent
skin-colouring, cosmetic piercing and electrolysis must be registered with their local council
unless they are a registered medical practitioner or dentist.

The purpose of registration is to ensure that basic health and safety standards are maintained
in any premises where these activities are carried out. It is compulsory to register both the premises
and the operator under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

Applicants will be required to pay a one-off registration fee, which covers the cost of administration
and inspection of the premises on a periodic basis. These checks will ensure the necessary
standards are being maintained.

All persons that carry out tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis
must be registered with the local authority

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982, Part VIII, requires that the following
types of skin piercing are registered with the council.

  • acupuncture

  • ear-piercing

  • electrolysis

  • tattooing

The act requires registration to cover both the person carrying out the practice and the premises
used for that purpose. There are no powers to refuse registration,
but the practice is controlled through compliance with by-laws in each case.

What are the conditions and cost of the licence?

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic,
prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required by the
Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the
registration has been formally approved.

Once an application has been made and a fee has been paid and to register each individual working there ,
an inspector will undertake an inspection of the premises. If the inspector considers the applicant's
procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved.

The inspector will also check compliance with the by-law requirements as well as ensuring that
general health and safety requirements are being met.

The inspector will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure as to how to
meet these obligations.

What information/evidence will I need to be provided?

Training and competency: All persons carrying out body art procedures (practitioners) must attend a
relevant course on infection control (eg one run by a local authority/health authority and/or recognised
trade association), and attend a refresher course at least every five years.

Qualifications: Full records must be kept on the premises of all practitioners’ qualifications and
registration of the relevant professional association; courses attended – with dates, and the titles
of the courses, and venue; details of periods of supervision of all piercers/tattooists must also be kept.
These details must be available for inspection at all times.

Insurance: The business must have third party liability, to cover claims from damages or negligence,
as well as employer’s liability insurance where appropriate.

Waste: Waste transfer documents and details need to be available at all times for inspection.

*Acupuncture and body art procedures MUST not be undertaken by anyone under the age of 18 years.

Where can I go for further information?

Please view the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) below for more details of the by-law requirements.

How do I apply?




This will Apply to the Local Area that you wish to apply your treatments and premises.


Title and Surname ________________________________

Other Names _______________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

correspondence will be sent to this address)



Postcode: _______________________________ E Mail address ____________________________________

Daytime Tel No: __________________________ Evening Tel No:____________________________________

(including STD code)

(including STD code)

Date of Birth _____________________________ Sex___________

Registration Number

(if registered previously) _____________________________


Please indicate type of application : Grant Renewal

Type of registration required. Ear Piercing Acupuncture Tattooing Electrolysis


Full address of premises where the above practices will be carried out.




Postcode __________________________________ Tel No. ________________________________________

Description of premises __________________________

Are premises registered with Cardiff County Council to carry out the

above practices? YES/NO


(Name of persons engaged in the practice of the business:-)

Name _______________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

Occupation ___________________________________________

Name _______________________________________________

Address ______________________________________________

Occupation ___________________________________________

G:\General Licensing Application Forms and Conditions\Applications\Skin Piercing Personal.doc


Have you or to the best of your knowledge, any person who will be engaged in your practice,
or business:-

(Please circle answer)

Been convicted within the previous 5 years of carrying on the practice or business YES/NO

which is the subject of your application without being registered by a local authority

under this Act?


Been convicted within the previous 5 years of carrying on the practice or business YES/NO

which is the subject of your application in premises which were not registered by a

local authority under this Act?


Had a registration under this Act suspended or cancelled by order of a Court? YES/NO

I enclose cash, cheque, postal order for £ ____ being the total fee payable. Cheques to be

made payable to Cardiff County Council.

I understand that once registered, I must carry out the registered practice in appropriately
registered premises.

I certify that all material facts herein are true:-

Any data supplied by you on this form will be processed in accordance with Data Protection
Act requirements and in supplying it you consent to the Council processing the data for the
purpose for which it is supplied. All personal information provided will betreated in the strictest confidence and will
only be used by the Council

or disclosed to others for a purpose permitted by law.

SIGNED ____________ DATED

Completed application forms, together withregistration fee should be returned to :-

Licensing Section

161 City Hall

Cathays Park


CF10 3ND

Tel No: (029) 2087 1129(029) 2087 1129 / 2087 1651


Receipt No.

Date of payment

Amount Paid

H & S

How long will it take you to process my application and if I’m turned down,
how do I appeal?

It will take approximately six weeks from receipt of your application and fee to process your application
and carry out an initial inspection. If the standards are not met initially, the certificate of registration will
not be released until the premises and/or persons meet the required standard.

An applicant cannot be refused registration, however, a registration certificate will not be issued until
the premises and/or person meets the standards set (by-laws and Health and safety at Work Act 1974).

How long does the licence last and what is the renewal procedure?

There is a one-off premises registration fee for yourself and your premises for the business,
additional persons are charged at a reduced rate.

Further information

There are a number of specific guidance documents available:

Frequently asked questions

What are the by-law requirements regarding the premises?

All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair.

All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair.

Tables, couches, seats etc used in the treatment area must have a smooth,
impervious surfacewhich is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and
covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client.

A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed.

Cleanliness of operatives:

  • Any overall worn by the operative should be clean and in good repair.

  • The operative's hands and nails must be kept clean.

  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing.

  • The operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area.

  • The operative should have sole use of the washing facilities which must
    provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser).

What are the by-law requirements regarding equipment?

  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be
    in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used.

  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the
    purpose of sterilisation.

  • If tattooing is being undertaken, then all dyes used must be bacteriologically
    clean and inert. The containers used to hold dyes for each customer must
    be disposed of at the end of each
    treatment or sterilised before re-use.

What are the general by-law requirements?

  • It is an offence to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years
    (the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969) regardless of parental consent.

  • The health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be
    discussed prior to
    its administration