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Skin piercing

Registering a skin piercing activity

If you offer skin piercing treatments - including acupuncture, ear piercing, electrolysis, microblading, semi-permanent skin colouring and tattooing - in the Maldon district, you must be registered with us.

Skin piercing activities are covered by the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions Act 1982, Part VIII, sections 13-17. Tattooing is also covered by the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969.

When we receive an application, along with the correct fee, an authorised council officer will arrange to visit. If the officer is satisfied that the byelaws have been met, a registration will be issued. This registration lasts as long as you are operating.


It is illegal to operate without a registration or breach the byelaws. If you have not heard from us within 2 months, you can act as if your registration is issued.

You can check our register to see if a skin piercer is licensed. If you are concerned about a skin piercer or a business that doesn't have a registration, please contact us

Making an application

You can complete an application and pay online - apply online to register a skin piercing activity

or print an application to register and send this to us with a cheque or make payment by bank transfer. Our fees

Failed application and licence holder redress

Please contact us in the first instance.

If a registration is suspended or cancelled, then you may appeal to the local Magistrates' Court.

More information is available from the following trade associations

British Association of Beauty Therapy and Cosmetology (BABTAC)

British Institute and Association of Electrolysis

Consumer Complaint

In the event of a complaint about a skin piercer, you are advised to contact the business first - preferably in the form of a letter (with proof of delivery). If this has not helped and you are located in the UK, the Citizens Advice Bureau will give you advice. If you are outside the UK, contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

If you are concerned about hygiene issues, other health and safety matters or want to report an unregistered skin piercer, please contact us

If you would like to report the tattooing of a person under 18 years of age, you will need to contact the police.

Other redress

If you have other concerns relating to a skin piercer, such as noise, dust, drainage, information is available on our website.

Massage and Special Treatments

Essex County Council's Trading Standards team are responsible for the licensing of massage and special treatments. You can find more information on the Essex County Council website.