Skin Piercing, Acupuncture and Tattooing Licence

To run any form of skin piercing or tattooing business including acupuncture, ear and body piercing and electrolysis (whether from premises or mobile), a licence must be obtained from us.

You may be exempt if you are a regulated health care professional. A licence is only required for “the carrying on of a business which provides skin piercing or tattooing.” Therefore a licence is not required if the service is being provided for a purpose other than a business one.

Updated Covid PPE Guidance

Please be advised that from 31 May 2021 it will be permitted to temporarily remove a client’s face covering for the purposes of carrying out a treatment to the mouth/nose area. This will require a specific standard of PPE – a Fluid Resistant Surgical Face Mask (Type IIR) and eye protection (goggles or a full face visor) - to be worn by the practitioner. It is important that you ensure that these masks conform to EN14683 as, although we are not aware of counterfeit Type IIR masks being in circulation, our Trading Standards colleagues have encountered other fake face coverings.

The Scottish Government are currently updating the close contact guidance which can be viewed here:

This advice does not apply to any treatments not involving the mouth/nose area. In these cases both the practitioner and client are still both required to wear face masks.

Should you wish to discuss this further or have any queries do not hesitate to get in touch with our Public Health Compliance Officer

Eligibility Criteria

Your application must be in writing (including by electronic means), in the form specified by us. 

You must be a fit and proper person and not be disqualified from holding a licence.

You must meet strict standards with regard to your:

  • premises
  • facilities
  • equipment


Standard conditions (below) applied to the relevant licence type on the granting of the licence. Environmental Health will check compliance with these requirements.

Acupuncture (pdf)
Ear Piercing (pdf)
Electrolysis (pdf)
Skin Piercing (pdf)
Skin Piercing & Tattooing (pdf)
Tattooing (pdf)

We may make such reasonable inquiries as we think fit and include the results of these inquiries in matters we take into account, but where we intend to include any of these results we must notify you.

You may be given the opportunity to make representations.

Read our Guidance Notes (PDF) for more information before completing a form.

Application Form (PDF) Application Form (Word)

Will Tacit Consent Apply?

Yes. This means that you will be able to act as though your application is granted if you have not heard from The Moray Council by the end of the target completion period.


There will be a fee for applying and renewing this licence.

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