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 have a mobile treatment room you need to apply to the authority where the mobile treatment room is located overnight. Carrying out piercing activities and tattooing is not permitted to be carried out in unlicensed premises. Practitioners cannot currently be licenced to carry out treatments in client's own homes. Please contact us for further advice on premises that can be licensed, or visit Gov.UK, find my local council to locate your local authority.

To apply, complete the form:

Please note that the guidance and byelaws apply to West Suffolk Council.

Does tacit authorisation apply?

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