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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 is ear piercing. 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 including allergic reaction, bacterial and viral infection (such as Hepatitis B, C and HIV) and scaring have all occurred. When properly performed by a 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 your Local Authority. You will need to register yourself as well as the premises where you do the piercing and each additional person who operates with you. If you operate at more than one premises, even if this is in a different Local Authority area, you will need to register each premises and each additional person operating.

You MUST ensure you are able to comply with the requirements of the Byelaws (see below). You will need to prominently display a copy of your registration certificate and the byelaws at your premises. It is an offence to carry out the business of cosmetic piercing without being registered with the Local Authority.

Tattoo and Piercing Hygiene Rating Scheme

Dudley MBC are proud to operate a Hygiene Rating Scheme for any business offering cosmetic skin piercing, acupuncture, permanent and semi-permanent skin colouring. For more information click here.

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off registration fee for yourself and your premises to conduct cosmetic piercings. Additional persons are charged at a reduced rate. To view the fee information click this link.

When is registration required?

If you conduct cosmetic piercing professionally you must be registered.

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 (below).

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 or notify us. Please contact us if you are no longer running the business.  

How do I apply?

You can apply by any of the following means:

  • The easiest way to apply is online - simply download the registration form (below), complete the form and save it.  Click on the red button below and when requested, upload the completed form. Once submitted you will be taken to an online payment page.  Have your debit/credit card ready.

  • Alternatively you can download the form using the links below, send us the completed form with a cheque for the correct amount.  If you send the form without a cheque we can contact you to take payment by debit/credit card over the phone. 


How long will my application take to process?

We aim to process your application within 21 days. Please contact us if you have any queries about the process.

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

No. You cannot start trading until your application is fully processed by the Council and you have received and are displaying your registration certificate. If you have not heard from us within 21 days, please contact us.

Is there a public register available?

The legislation does not require the keeping of a cosmetic piercing public register, however we are working on making one available online. In the meantime, each registered piercer and premises must display a registration certificate and a copy of the byelaws in a prominent place. If you are concerned that a cosmetic piercer or a premises carrying out piercing is not 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 of a local business please use the Cosmetic/Beauty Business Advice and Complaints form.

Fee Information

Useful Links

Contact Details

  • Name Environmental Safety and Health
  • Address People Directorate, 3-5 St James's Road, Dudley, DY1 1HZ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345
  • Opening Hours Monday to Friday, 8.45 am to 5.00 pm, Please note that the offices are closed at weekends and Bank Holidays

For more Enquiries please use our online Form below