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Skin piercing and tattooing licence

Under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982, anyone carrying on a business involving any of the following activities must be licensed:

  • acupuncture
  • cosmetic body piercing
  • electrolysis
  • tattooing
  • microblading

How to apply

Before applying for a licence, please read the guidance advice note (Word, 32kb) on which procedures require licences and which do not, including dermaplaning and dermabrasion. 

Complete and return a Skin Piercing and Tattooing application form (Word, 195kb).


All fees can be found on our licence fees webpage.

Please include the fee with your completed application form. Cheques made payable to 'North Ayrshire Council'. If your applications is refused, or granted for a shorter period than you applied, the fee will not be refunded or reduced.

What happens next?

Once we have received your application:

  • we'll arrange to carry out an inspection on your proposed premises to make sure they meet the required standards
  • your application will be advertised on this website to allow members of the public to make objections or representations
  • you will have to display a Site Notice at, or near, the Premises.

How long does the licence last?

The licence is valid for 3 years from the date of issue, unless the Committee has decided on a shorter period. The expiry date is stated on the licence.

Does my Licence have Conditions?

Conditions are divided between:

  • pre-conditions - standards which you have to meet before the council will grant or renew a licence
  • continuing conditions - these apply after the licence has been granted

Please read Skin Piercing and Tattooing Licensing Conditions (Word, 52kb).

Renewing a licence

If you have applied for a renewal before the expiry date, you may continue trading after the expiry date has passed, for as long as it takes for us to deal with your renewal.