Tattoo, piercing and electrolysis

Amber Valley Borough Council has adopted the Local Government Miscellaneous Act 1982 (as amended) which requires premises and persons who undertake the practice of acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent tattooing, cosmetic piercing (which includes ear piercing), and electrolysis to register with the council. Applicants will need to demonstrate competence in their field of skin piercing and the ability to meet health and safety standards and safe practices. The structure of the premises will also need to meet appropriate hygiene standards. Please see the Bylaws for structural requirements and hygiene standards that will apply to your business. Bylaws will need to be prominently displayed at your premises for customers to see alongside your Registration Certificates. 

To register as a practitioner or to register premises where these activities are to take place as part of a business, complete our online application form at Before you begin please view the associated fees for this licence.

Advice for getting a tattoo, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic body piercing, or electrolysis

  • Practitioners must be registered with Amber Valley Borough Council and work from registered premises. Their registration certificates must be displayed. The facility should be clean — use your best judgement.
  • Practitioners must wash and dry their hands before each procedure and wear sterile, disposable gloves during the procedure.
  • Needles must be sterile and single-use. They should be disposed of in a sharps box, not in general waste. If reused a vacuum autoclave must be used.
  • Practitioners must clean the area to be pierced or tattooed with a skin disinfectant solution.
  • Excess ink and the small amount of blood that oozes from skin puncture should be continuously removed by dabbing with an absorbent clean tissue.
  • Facilities should provide you with verbal and/or written information regarding possible reactions, side effects, and potential complications of the tattooing or piercing process.
  • Bylaws that the practitioner works to must be on display at the premises.
  • After the procedure is completed, you’ve just begun so be sure to follow aftercare tips.
  • If you have any concerns do not proceed. Trust your instincts.
  • Tattooing of a person under the age of 18 is prohibited in law regardless of whether a parent or guardian gives permission.
Need further help or information?

Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email