Acupuncture, Tattooist, Skin Piercing and Electrolysis licence

Anyone carrying out:

  • skin piercing
  • acupuncture,
  • tattooing, 
  • skin piercing
  • and electrolysis

must be registered with their Council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

You can View the regulations relating to skin piercing

Cornwall Council has also adopted skin piercing byelaws which regulate the provision of skin piercing activities.


The aim of registering skin piercing activities is to protect members of the public from the transmission of blood borne viruses such as:

  • HIV,
  • Hepatitis B,
  • Hepatitis C
  • and other infections.

The council has approved byelaws that set out the standards for the hygienic operation of skin piercing premises. Persons carrying out skin piercing must comply with these byelaws.

Registration consists of two elements:

  • the person
  • and the place where the skin piercing takes place.

A separate fee is required for registration of the person and of the premises. This is a one-off payment as there is no annual renewal process. 

Please note, it is not possible to transfer a premises registration from one premises to another. If your business moves to another location, you will need to make application to register the new location and pay the registration fee.

A range of business regulatory support services  to support businesses to be more successful and compliant.


It takes 28 days to process a skin piercing application, therefore you must wait until the application has been determined before doing any any:

  • acupuncture,
  • tattooing,
  • skin piercing
  • or electrolysis activities

You can apply online (for both personal and premises registration) using the link below.

Apply for a skin piercing registration

Or, you can download and the form below

Please contact licensing services to discuss:

  • an application,
  • decision
  • or consent.


Please view the current licensing fees and charges to find out how much you will need to pay.

Public Register

Please contact licensing services to discuss your requirements.

Consumer Complaints

Please contact licensing services if you wish to make a complaint about someone carrying out:

  • acupuncture,
  • tattooing, 
  • skin piercing
  • or activities involving electrolysis.  

You should also contact us if you suspect someone is carrying out such activities without the appropriate registrations.

Useful links

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