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Skin piercing and tattooing

The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Skin Piercing and Tattooing) Order 2006 legislation came into force on 1 April 2006, which requires all skin piercing activities to be licensed.

Skin piercing activities includes any of the following:

  • Acupuncture
  • Cosmetic body piercing
  • Electrolysis
  • Tattooing

Businesses will require to be licensed before carrying out skin piercing and/or tattooing.

How to apply

The application must be lodged with Environmental Health & Trading Standards, 5-9 River Terrace, Ayr, KA8 0BJ by post or by emailing your completed application to

Debit/Credit Card payments can be made by calling 0300 123 0900 and asking for Environmental Health. Office hours are Monday - Thursday 9am til 4.45pm and Friday 9am til 4pm.

Applications will not be processed until Environmental Health are in receipt of the fee.

Once the application is processed the fees are non-refundable.

Skin Piercing and Tattoo Licence (Word doc) [76KB]

Fees and charges - South Ayrshire Council (

If no application is received for relevant skin piercing activities enforcement action may be taken.

If the activities carried out on your premises come into the above criteria, you will require to meet certain conditions as indicated by the above legislation.

For further information  Contact Environmental Health

Standards for skin piercing and tattooing

View the Standards for skin piercing and tattooing

Licensed establishments

View a list of Licensed establishments for skin piercing and tattooing