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Cosmetic Piercing Registration

What is cosmetic piercing?

Cosmetic or body piercing is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body creating an opening in which jewellery may be worn. The most common form of cosmetic piercing in the UK are ear piercings. Cosmetic piercing can also be a form of body modification. The word "piercing" can refer to the act or practice of body piercing, or to an opening in the body created by this act or practice. Cosmetic piercing is an invasive procedure and is not without risks. In particular, allergies, scars and viral infection (such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV) are all recorded. When properly performed by a properly registered person, these risks can be minimised.

What do I have to do to pierce people

If you are thinking about performing piercings on other people, whether at home or in a business premises, you will need to register with the Local Authority where you are normally based. You will need to register yourself and the premises where your business is normally carried on and for each additional person who operates with you. If you operate at more than one premises, even if this is in a different Local Authority's area, you will need to register each additional person at the premises in which you operate.

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off premises registration fee for yourself and your premises to carry out the activity of cosmetic piercing. Additional persons are charged at a reduced rate. The registration fees normally changes annually so for  this year's fee please view the fee information.

When is registration required?

This registration is required if you wish to run premises for the business of cosmetic piercing. 

Can my registration be refused?

No, your registration cannot be refused by the Council; however you may be subject to enforcement action if you do not comply with the necessary standards laid out in by law and bylaws (see attachment at bottom of page).

How long does my registration last?

The registration lasts as long as the business proprietor or operation of the business does not change. If a new person takes over the business or the premises changes, then you will need to re-register. Please contact us if you are no longer running the business using the contact details below.

How do I apply?

You can apply by any of the following means:

  • You can send us a completed and signed application form together with a cheque for the correct amount or bringing it to us in person at our offices. The application form is available as a PDF at the bottom of this page.

  • Contact us using the details at the bottom of this page and we will send you an application form.

How long will my application take to process?

We aim to process your application within 21 days. We will confirm for all electronic applications via email that we have received your application. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process us.

Can I start trading before receiving my registration certificate (i.e. will tacit consent apply)?

No. You cannot start trading until your application is processed by the Council and you have received a certificate to display in your premises. It is in the public interest that we must process your application before it can be granted.  If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.

Is there a public register available?

The legislation does not require a public register to be kept of registered cosmetic piercers, however we are working on making one available online. In the meantime, each registered piercer and premises must display a registration certificate in a prominent place. If you still do not know if a cosmetic piercer or a premises carrying out piercing is registered, please contact us.

How do I complain about a local business?

If you are concerned about the standards or practices within a local business or are concerned that they do not appear to be registered please use the Cosmetic/Beauty Business Advice and Complaints form.

If enforcement action has been taken against my business, how do I appeal against it?

For further information, please see our Enforcement web page.

If I am not satisfied with the service I have received from the Council about a registration, how do I complain?

If you feel we have failed to provide you with good service or are concerned about the progress of your application, please contact us and we will endeavour to resolve any concerns you may have. We also have a formal complaints procedure.

Where can I get further information?

If you would like further advice about the standards or practices within a local business please use the Cosmetic/Beauty Business Advice and Complaints form.   

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345