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Acupuncture, tattoo, piercing or electrolysis registration

You need to register with us if you want to carry out acupuncture, tattooing, piercing or electrolysis. It's against the law for you to carry out these activities without registration from us.

How can you register with us?

To apply for acupuncture, tattoo, piercing or electrolysis registration:

  1. Complete the registration form below and send it to us using the contact details provided on the form. Either the owner or the operator of the premises can complete the registration form.
  2. Once we've received the form, we'll ring you so you can pay the registration fee by credit or debit card. The fee is £155 for each person you want to register and for each activity you want to register for.
  3. Once we've received your fee, we'll arrange a suitable time to inspect your premises to check you meet all the conditions below.
  4. If our visit shows you meet all the conditions, we'll register you for that activity. Your registration will last for as long as you work in this area and will cover you and the premises you work in.

Registration form for tattooing, acupuncture, piercing or electrolysis (158kb pdf)

What conditions do you need to meet?

Our inspector will check that:

  1. Your premises meet general health and safety requirements. View the healthy and safety basics on Health and Safety Executive
  2. Your premises meet the following conditions:
    • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients are kept clean and in good condition.
    • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area are kept clean and in good condition.
    • Table, sofas, seats and other items of furniture used in the treatment area have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet. This should be changed after each customer.
    • A 'no smoking' sign is clearly displayed. 

  3. Your staff meet the following conditions:
    • Any overalls worn by staff are clean and in good condition.
    • Hands and nails of staff are kept clean.
    • Any open cuts, wounds, sores or boils are suitably covered by a waterproof dressing.
    • Staff aren't smoking or drinking in treatment area.
    • Staff have sole use of washing facilities that provide hot and cold running water, soap and a nail brush.

  4. Your equipment meet the following conditions:
    • Any needle, metal instrument or item of equipment you use in treatment are in a sterile condition and kept sterile until they're used.
    • If you don't use pre-sterilised items then you need to have adequate facilities to sterilise items.

If you need guidance to meet these conditions:

Does tacit consent apply?

No, we must process your application before it can be granted.

What should you do if your application is unsuccessful?

If your application is unsuccessful, please contact us in the first instance using the contact details provided on this page.

If you disagree with our decision, you can appeal to your local magistrates' court.  

How can you report a scratcher?

A scratcher is someone who isn't registered to tattoo and may be doing so from unregistered premises. This is illegal and presents a serious risk of infection.

To report a scratcher, please complete the following form and send it to us using the contact details on the form.


0300 303 8871

Phone: Monday-Friday 8.30am-5.30pm.
Closed for training Monday 11am-11.30am.

Public Protection Service
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU