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Acupuncture, Cosmetic Piercing, Electrolysis, Semi-Permanent Skin Colouring and Tattooing Registration

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 requires that all of the above skin piercing activities that are carried out within the district are registered with South Holland District Council. This is to prevent the spread of numerous health risks associated with skin piercing activities such as bacterial infection and the transmission of blood-borne viruses such as Hepatitis B or C and HIV.

The Act requires registration of both the person carrying on the business or practice and the premises used for those purposes. 

If you are providing more than one skin piercing activity, you will need to register for each activity.  All piercing activities are controlled through compliance with local by-laws and health and safety law.

It is an offence to conduct any of the said skin piercing activities unless the registration has been formally approved. 

Register your business

If you're opening a new business premises, you should check whether you need to apply for planning permission before you register.  If the address was used for a different type of business, you may need to apply for a change of use.

Please provide as much information on the forms as possible, including details of how you will comply with the relevant Council by-laws (see below). Please note if you are providing more than one skin piercing activity, you will need to register for each practice.  

Please ensure all information is correct, and you are applying for what you need.  We are unable to offer refunds, as this is payment for processing the application.

Once you have completed the form/s, please return to us via post or email:

  • Food, Health and Safety Team
    Public Protection
    Council Offices
    Priory Road
    PE11 2XE

We'll assess and process your application upon receipt of a completed application form and full payment via the Council payment webpage.

As part of the application assessment we may ask for further information. If your application is a new premise an officer will contact you to arrange an inspection to ensure you meet the Councils by-laws etc.

Your registration certification should be displayed in a prominent position on the premises where the activities take place.


    You do not need to register when skin piercing is carried out by, or under the supervision of, a registered medical practitioner (or, in the case of acupuncture only, a dentist). The injection of Botox and cosmetic filler implants are not classed as skin piercing activities. Botox is a prescription only medicine. Doctors or Nurses (under Doctor's supervision) can only administer Botox to a patient.

    Age of consent advice

    • Cosmetic Piercing - there is no statutory age of consent for cosmetic piercing.  Cosmetic piercing of a minor is lawful provided that they are sufficiently mature to understand the nature of the request.  If the piercers are willing to perform the procedure on a minor, the presence of a parent or guardian is strongly recommended.
    • Tattooing - there is a statutory minimum age of consent for tattooing which is 18 years of age, this is specified in the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969.  Even with parental or guardian consent is against the law for under 18s to be tattooed.

    If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email the team on

    District by-laws