You must apply for a licence if you want to perform acupuncture, skin piercing, electrolysis, tattoos or semi-permanent skin colouring as a business. 

The aim of licensing is to protect the public from the transmission of blood-borne viruses such as HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and other infections.  

This licence includes: 

  • tattooing 
  • semi-permanent skin colouring 
  • cosmetic piercing 
  • electrolysis 
  • acupuncture 


You must register both yourself and your premises. A separate fee of £140.10 is required for each licence.

The licences do not have to be renewed.

How to apply 

Step 1: Download a licence registration form.

Step 2: Send the completed form by email to or post to: Environmental Health, South Gloucestershire Council, PO Box 1954, Bristol BS37 0DD.

Step 3: Make your payment online by selecting the other payments option. From the dropdown menu, choose food health and safety and then, dependent on your application, acupuncture tattoo piercing electrolysis premises, or personal.

Menu displays four options including acupuncture tattoo piercing electrolysis for premises and personal applications.

You can also pay by calling 01454 868001 and quoting your name, the business name and address.

The fee must be paid before the inspection of your business premises takes place.

Step 4: When you have received your licence, you must display this with a copy of the relevant byelaws in your premises.  


To continue to operate you must follow the requirements of our byelaws:

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