Acupuncture, Cosmetic Body Piercing, Electrolysis, Semi-Permanent Skin Colouring, Tattooists

Licence summary

If you offer acupuncture, cosmetic piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin colouring, or tattooing in Northern Ireland, you must be registered with your local district council.

If you work from premises, they must also be registered.

Once registered, you will be issued with a certificate of registration.

Some guidance notes are available on registration: Note to businesses on requirement of article 14 - requirements for acupuncture, cosmetic body piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin-colouring, tattooing 

Eligibility Criteria

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

A fee of £25 is charged for such registration.

Regulation Summary

Applicants should be aware that it is an offence to carry on the businesses mentioned above unless they are registered with the Council.
Should you be found guilty of such an offence you may be fined up to £1000.
The Council has made bye-laws in relation to the operation of such establishments - a copy of these will be made available on receipt of your application or can be accessed by following the links below.
Your premises will be inspected following receipt of your application to ensure compliance with the appropriate bye-laws.
Any breach of the appropriate bye-laws may result in a fine of up to £1000.

Anyone found guilty of the breach of the bye-laws may also have their registration suspended or cancelled by the courts.

A summary of the regulation can be found here: Regulation summary

Legislation about control by district council of acupuncture, cosmetic body piercing, electrolysis and ear piercing, semi-permanent skin-colouring, tattooing


Application Evaluation Process

A completed application form must be accompanied with the relevant fee.
Premises should also be registered with the Environmental Health Department for the purposes of Health and Safety and the premises will be inspected to ensure that you comply with all relevant health and safety legislation and the appropriate bye-laws.

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

No. It is in the public interest that that all equipment and premises to be used in such activities are inspected and found to be suitable and hygienic before you can begin trading to prevent the transfer of, or contamination from, blood borne, and other, diseases.

If you have not heard from the Council within a reasonable period, please contact us. You can do this online here if you applied through the UK Welcomes service or telephone the Environmental Health Department on 028 71365151, or e-mail [email protected]

Apply online

Apply to register your premises for acupuncture, cosmetic body piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin-colouring, tattooing

Tell us about a change to your existing registration

Forms to download, print and post

Application for registration under article 14 to carry on the business of acupuncture, cosmetic body piercing, electrolysis, semi-permanent skin-colouring, tattooing

Contact Details

Telephone: (028) 71365151
Fax: (028) 71266009
E-mail: [email protected]
Environmental Health Department
Council Offices
98 Strand Rd
BT48 7NN

Failed Application Redress

Please contact Derry City Council in the first instance.

Licence Holder Redress

Please contact Derry City Council in the first instance.
If a registration is suspended or cancelled the registration holder may appeal to the county court.

Consumer Complaint

We would always advise that in the event of a complaint the first contact is made with the trader by you - preferably in the form a letter (with proof of delivery). If that has not worked, if you are located in the UK, Consumer Direct will give you advice. From outside the UK contact the UK European Consumer Centre.

Other Redress

Any complaints about how a premises is operated should be made directly to the Environmental Health Department on (028) 71365151, or by e-mailing [email protected]

Trade Associations