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Skin piercing and tattooing licence

If you carry out any form of skin piercing or tattooing within North Lanarkshire, you'll need a licence from us to do so legally.

We issue licences to people wishing to operate a skin piercing or tattooing business. The purpose of the licensing scheme is to:

  • regulate skin piercing and tattooing
  • ensure controls are in place for both fixed and mobile businesses
  • manage and reduce potential health risks faced by clients and practitioners
  • minimise risk of transmitting blood-borne infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C

Skin piercing

Skin piercing includes acupuncture, cosmetic body piercing (including ear piercing) and electrolysis.


Tattooing means inserting colouring pigment into the skin to leave a semi-permanent or permanent mark and includes microblading.

Licence conditions

Licence conditions relating to the activity of skin piercing and tattooing are detailed within The Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 (Licensing of Skin Piercing and Tattooing) order 2006 and later amendments.

Background information and general conditions detailing licensing requirements can also be found on the Public Health Scotland website.

We have approved additional conditions, which are detailed within the documents attached to the application form.


The fees for applying for a three-year licence or a renewal licence are detailed in environmental health fees and charges. The relevant fee should be paid when the application is lodged and is not refundable.

Please note - a separate application is required for each self-employed tattoo artist operating within the same premises.

Application form

An application form can be emailed or posted to you. Please contact us to request a form.

We will make a decision about your application within 12 months of receiving your completed form.

Page last updated:
02 May 2023

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