Any person carrying on the business of tattooing, electrolysis, acupuncture or ear piercing in Oxford and premises where these practices take place must be registered with Oxford City Council under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982 ('The Act'). Registration is in place to protect people against public health risks, including the risk of diseases such as Hepatitis and HIV.

Registration only needs to be carried out once, provided the person and the premises do not change. If you are practicing at a premises which has a current registration, you need only register as a practitioner. Fees for registration are reviewed annually and can be found below.

It is an offence under the Act to undertake any of the skin piercing practices specified above if the premises and the person are not registered. Skin piercing practices other than those specified do not currently need to be registered with Oxford City Council. However, all business operators still have a general duty to comply with health and safety legislation.


We have adopted byelaws that set out the basic standards expected for hygienic and safe operation of skin piercing premises. Anyone registered for skin piercing with us must comply with the relevant byelaws, which can be found on our Byelaws page.

The relevant byelaws are:

  • Byelaws for ear piercing and electrolysis
  • Byelaws for tattooing
  • Byelaws for acupuncture

Application forms

In order to register a person and/or premises for the practice of tattooing, electrolysis, acupuncture or ear piercing, you must complete an application and submit it along with the relevant fee.

Download the Skin piercing application forms.

Following receipt of a fully completed application, premises will be inspected by an Environmental Health Officer to ensure that the byelaws and relevant health and safety requirements are being complied with.

It is in the public interest that the application be processed before it can be granted. If you have not heard from us within 28 days of submitting your application, please contact us.


The fees are the same for acupuncture, ear piercing, electrolysis, and tattooing apoplications:

  • person registration: £140
  • premises registration: £280

Fees are reviewed every year and were correct at time of publication.

Other Resources

See the Tattooing and Body Piercing Guidance Toolkit on Chartered Institute of Environmental Health website (PDF).

Contact the Business Regulation Team

Address: Town Hall
St Aldate's

Telephone: 01865 252862

Rate this page