Acupuncture, Tattooists, Semi-Permanent Skin Colouring, Piercing and Electrolysis Licensing

Acupuncture, Tattooists, Semi-Permanent Skin Colouring, Piercing and Electrolysis Licensing 

Why do I need a licence?

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 requires you to obtain a licence if you offer acupuncture, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, cosmetic piercing, or electrolysis.

Each practitioner must be registered with West Northants Council (Daventry Area) and if you work from premises, they must also be registered.      

How do I obtain a licence?

You must provide specific information including details of your premises and any previous convictions for practicing without a licence in this field. 

You can apply for a licence:

You can also tell us about a change to an existing licence by following this link:

Tell us about a change to your existing licence to pierce skin .GOV.UK website.


A list of current licence fees can be found on the West Northants Council website.

The application fee should be paid at the time of your application..


Application process 

No provision in legislation, but the practice is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case. We check that premises and equipment are suitable, and that good hygiene is followed and sensible after-care instructions are given so as to minimise the health risks to customers.

It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, semi-permanent skin colouring, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

Once registered, you will be issued with a certificate of registration for displaying at the premises.

Will tacit consent apply if I do not hear anything within 28 days? 

No. We must process your application and notify you that a licence has been granted. If you have not heard from us within a reasonable period, please contact us via email or phone. 

Licensed Activity and Licence Holder Complaints

Should you wish to complain about a licensed activity or licence holder within the area of West Northants Council (Daventry Area), click on this link for contact details.


Service Complaints, Appeals, Failed Application Redress, Other Redress and Local Government Ombudsman

If you think we have done something wrong or are aggrieved by a decision made by West Northants Council (Daventry Area), please click on this link to see the options available to you.