Skip To Main Content

Cambridge City Council

Subscribe to email notifications of our service updates and news releases

Coronavirus: Updates and information

Find out about available support and how to offer help. Our customer service centre is open to help you by email and phone. Please continue to follow official NHS and government advice.

Registration of skin-piercing activities

You must register any business that carries out any of the following skin-piercing activities:

  • Tattooing
  • Acupuncture
  • Semipermanent skin colouring, including make-up, micropigmentation, dermapigmentation, microblading, temporary tattooing, cosmetic tattooing
  • Cosmetic piercing, including ear piercing and body piercing
  • Electrolysis

Any apprentices that work with you must register too, and if you work from business premises you must also register that.

When you have registered, we will issue you a certificate of registration.

We recommend that your read our skin-piercing guidance [PDF, 0.2MB] and the skin-piercing byelaws [PDF, 0.2MB] before you register.


To register, download the form from the GOV.UK website:

You must provide specific information, including details of your premises. You must also declare any previous convictions for practicing without a licence in this field.

Tacit approval does not apply – contact us if you have not heard from us within 40 days.

You must also tell us about any change to your business:


  • Premises registration: £146
  • Personal (practitioner) registration: £56

Inspection and enforcement

Tattoists are inspected annually by an enforcement officer.

Practitioners offering cosmetic piercing, acupuncture and electrolysis will be inspected by an enforcement officer on a risk-based schedule.

During the inspection the inspecting officer will look at the following areas:

  • Suitability of fixtures and fittings
  • Storage and sterilisation of equipment/facilities
  • Cleanliness and washing facilities
  • Record keeping
  • Any other relevant health and safety issues