Licensing and permits

Acupuncture, piercings, semi-permanent skin colouring and tattooists

If you carry out acupuncture, cosmetic piercing (body and ear piercing), permanent tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring (micro pigmentation - e.g. tattooed eyebrows or lips) or electrolysis, you must register with the council.

This regulation exists to ensure that you meet the relevant health and safety standards and lessen the risk of infection.

You are only permitted to carry out named and registered treatments. If you want to practice a new treatment at your premises at a later date, you must come back and register it with us.


The registration fee for carrying out one of the following: acupuncture, tattooing, skin piercing, electrolysis, or semi-permanent skin colouring is:

  • Practitioner - £49.17
  • Premises - £117.13

The registration fee for carrying out two or more of the following activities: tattooing, skin piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin colouring or acupuncture is:

  • Practitioner £98.47
  • Premises - £234.26

Fees must be submitted with your registration. You must inform us of any amendments to the initial registration. 

The fee you pay is to cover the administration cost associated with registration - we regret we cannot offer you a refund.

How to register

Register and pay online

The quickest way to apply is online. Select which registration you are applying for and complete your application and payment: 

Apply and pay online for practitioner registration

Apply and pay online for premises registration

Register by post

If you would prefer to register by post, please contact us to request a form be posted to you.

If you are completing a paper application, you can include a cheque made payable to Liverpool City Council and send it to: Public Protection Division, Cunard Building, Water Street, Liverpool, L3 1QX.

Alternatively, you can pay online below. Please make a note of your payment reference number and include it with your paper application.

Pay online (practitioner)

Pay online (premises)

Registration is only complete when we have received the completed application form and relevant fee. If you need to make any amendments to the registration, you must write to the Principal Officer.

How long will the registration last?

It will last for as long as your business operates within the area. However, you will need to re-register if a business moves or changes hands.

You must display a copy of the certificate of registration at your premises. You will need to register any new practitioner who will be carrying on the business of tattooing.

Tacit consent

Tacit consent applies. The legislation requires only that the city council process your application for you to be registered.


Appeal is not applicable as there is a strict legal duty to register.

Processing timescales

An Environmental Health Officer will contact you within 28 days of making an application.