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Cambridge City Council

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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 practising 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: £149
  • Personal (practitioner) registration: £57

Inspection and enforcement

Tattooists 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