Tattooing, Ear Piercing, Electrolysis and Acupuncture - Registration

Why do I need a Licence? 

To offer skin piercing treatments - including tattooing, acupuncture, ear piercing and electrolysis - both the person performing the treatment and the premises must be registered with the local authority. Currently, Test Valley Borough Council only registers acupuncture, ear piercing, electrolysis and tattooing.   The Council does not register cosmetic skin piercings and semi-permanent make-up.

Applications must include any information required by the local authority.

What will I have to do?

A summary of the regulation relating to this licence.


What does the evaluation process involve?

No provision in legislation.


Will Tacit Consent Apply?

 Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from the local authority by the end of the target completion period 40 working days.

Can I make my application online?


Apply for a licence to pierce skin

Apply to change a tattoo, piercing or electrolysis licence


What can I do if my application fails?

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.

What can I do if I'm unhappy about the licence conditions?

Please contact your local authority in the first instance.


How can I make a complaint?

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with trader by you - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.


Are there any trade associations?

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

For further information please also see:

Standards for Hairdressers, Barbers, Skin Piercers and Tattooists.

Are there any other types of redress? (e.g. about noise, pollution, etc). Also should one licence holder complain about another?

If you have a complaint concerning noise, pollution etc or would like any advice, please contact:

Housing & Environmental Health Service
Telephone 01264 368000