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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
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Tattooing and Semi-Permanent Skin Colouring Registration

What is tattooing and what are the risks?

A tattoo is a marking made by inserting ink into the layers of skin to change the pigment for decorative or other reasons. Tattoos are a type of decorative body modification. Types of semi-permanent skin colouring and skin micropigmentation are also classed as tattooing.

Since tattoo instruments come in contact with blood and bodily fluids, diseases may be transmitted if the instruments are used on more than one person without being sterilised. Infections that can be transmitted by the use of unsterilised tattoo equipment or contaminated ink include surface infections of the skin, herpes simplex virus, tetanus, staphloccus, fungal infections, some forms of hepatitis, tuberculosis and HIV. It is also illegal to tattoo people who are under 18 years of age under The Tattooing of Minors Act 1969 (enforced by the Police).

What do I have to do to tattoo people?

If you are thinking about tattooing 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. If you occasionally tattoo someone in their home, at their request, you do not need to register at that place but you will still need to be registered at a premises where you normally operate from.

Details of how to register can be found below. If you are still unsure whether you need to be registered, please contact us.

Tattoo and Piercing Hygiene Rating Scheme

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

How much does it cost?

There is a one-off premises registration fee for yourself and your premises for the business of tattooing. 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.

The following statements outline the costs in registering:

You need to register any premises in which activities which require registration take place (see "premises fee"). If you wish to undertake additional activities that require registration at the premises you do not need to re-register the premises but you will need to register each person undertaking that activity (the "person fee")

You need to re-register any premises for each of the activities undertaken at the premises if the premises changes ownership (see "premises fee")

You need to register each person at each of your premises (see the "person fee"). For each application, you can register as many activities as you wish, however, you will need to apply again if you wish to register the same person for additional activities for which they are not already registered.

You need to re-register each person if they undertake any additional activities to which they are already registered (see "person fee").

When is this registration required?

This registration is required if you wish to run premises for the business of tattooing or semi-permanent skin colouring.

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:

  • 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 us.

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

Trading must not begin until the application has been processed by the Council and a certificate is on display in the 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 the council to keep a public register of tattooists, however we are working on making one available online. In the meantime, each registered tattooist and premises must display a registration certificate in a prominent place. If you do not know whether a tattooist or premises carrying out tattooing is registered, please contact us.

How do I complain about a local business?

If you are concerned about the standards or practices of a local business or the business does 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.

What further guidance is available?

There are a number of specific guidance documents available:

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.

Fee Information


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.