Skip to content

Acupuncture, Tattooist, Skin Piercing and Electrolysis Registration

You must register with the Council to carry out:

  • tattooing
  • semi-permanent skin colouring *
  • cosmetic piercing **
  • electrolysis
  • acupuncture

This is covered under Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982.

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

* Semi-permanent skin-colouring includes semi-permanent make-up, micropigmentation, dermapigmentation, microblading, temporary tattooing, cosmetic tattooing etc.

** Cosmetic piercing includes ear piercing and body piercing.


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.


Applications for Skin Piercing are not determined until an inspection of the premises has been undertaken. You must wait until the application has been determined before doing any of the activities listed at the top of this page.

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

Apply for a skin piercing registration

Or, you can download the form below

Please contact 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 to discuss your requirements.

Consumer Complaints

Please contact if you wish to make a complaint about someone carrying out any of the activities listed at the top of this page.

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

Useful links

Need help?

Most issues can be resolved online, it's the quickest and most convenient way to get help.

Use our contact us form

Your feedback is important to us

Help us improve our service