Skin piercing

You will need a licence if you want to provide any of the services shown below:

  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • acupuncture
  • electrolysis
  • permanent and semi-permanent make-up
  • other for example, microblading, scarification and so on.

The premises will also need to be registered if you are working from one.


A new application fee is £185 and a variation fee is £90.


You need to apply to the licensing authority where you carry out the services. If you do not have a permanent premises, you need to apply to the authority where you live. The licensing authority is usually the local council. If you do not know who that is, visit: Gov.UK, find my local council

In West Suffolk there are two licensing authorities, Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough council. To apply, complete the form for the relevant council. 

Please note, that any reference to St Edmundsbury Borough Council should be taken to include Forest Heath District Council in the West Suffolk Council Skin Piercing byelaws and guidance documents.

Does tacit authorisation apply?
No, this is because it is in public interest that your application is fully processed before permission can be granted.