Acupuncture, Electrolysis, Tattooing, Cosmetic Piercing and Semi-permanent Skin-colouring

How to license tattoo, piercing, acupuncture, electrolysis or any similar body modification business.

If you want to carry out any of the above services in Brighton & Hove, you and your premises need to be registered. Brighton & Hove City Council has adopted new byelaws for the purpose of securing:

  • the cleanliness of the premises registered including its fittings
  • the cleanliness of the person registered
  • the cleaning and where appropriate the sterilisation of instruments, materials and equipment to prevent the transmission of disease

The new byelaws came into effect on 1 July 2005 and they cover acupuncture, body piercing, cosmetic piercing, ear-piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin-colouring, skin piercing and tattooing. Government guidance exists regarding these changes (PDF 147KB)

Complete a licence application form

You need to fill in one application to get a licence for skin piercing. 

This includes:

  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing (which covers ear and body piercing)
  • electrolysis
  • semi-permanent skin-colouring - which includes micropigmentation, micro-blading
  • tricopigmentation)

Download an application form


  • Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982

Return your application form(s) to:

Health and Safety and Licensing
2nd Floor Bartholomew House
Bartholomew Square

If you have any queries contact:


Phone: 01273 294 429