Legal Matters For Tattooists.


The boss
Premium Gold
26 Jan 2009
First Name
I found this bit of information on another website. It is very basic, but maybe worth a read.

If you are starting a new business, rather than taking over an existing one, you may need to obtain planning permission from the local planning authority. Even if you are going to be working from home, planning permission may be required depending on the exact nature of the business and the area where you live.

Some of the main areas where legislation may apply to your business are summarised below. The list is not intended to be exhaustive.
Registering with your environmental health department

All tattoo artists must be registered with their local authority environmental health department. Registration involves an inspection of the premises and equipment used to see that they reach the standards required by local bye-laws. These vary slightly around the country, but are always concerned with maintaining health and safety by ensuring high standards of cleanliness, hygiene and the use of appropriate equipment (for example autoclaves for sterilizing) and techniques. Following registration, premises must undergo an annual inspection for which a charge may be made. You should contact your local environmental health department for further details. Advice is also available from the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH).
Age limit and other restrictions

It is illegal to tattoo any person under 18 years of age or any person under the influence of drink or drugs. There is currently no statutory age limit for body piercing in the UK. However, members of the British Body Piercing Association (BBPA) will not carry out a piercing on anyone under the age of 14 - and 14 to 16 year olds must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Waste disposal

All waste must be disposed of properly. In particular, some of the waste produced by a tattoo artist will be classified as clinical waste. This might include such things as used needles, disposable gloves, spatulas, dressings and antiseptic wipes. Such waste must only be taken away and disposed of by a registered, authorised waste carrier. You should contact your local environmental health department for guidance and details of authorised waste carriers in your area.
Hazardous substances

Because you and your staff may be handling potentially hazardous substances, you must be aware of and comply with the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations. Your local environmental health department will be able to help you with this.

You must have public liability insurance and if you employ any staff, employers' liability insurance
Health and safety

You must make sure that you comply with health and safety legislation. This covers all aspects of work place health and safety. Employers have a duty to ensure the health and safety at work of all their employees and those with more than five employees must prepare a written health and safety policy statement. Contact your local authority environmental health department for advice and guidance.

Further information and guidance leaflets on all aspects of health and safety are available on the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) websites.
Employment legislation

Anyone employing staff must comply with employment legislation. Major pieces of legislation that you must be aware of include:

* The National Minimum Wage Act
* The Working Time Regulations
* The Employment Rights Act

You can get many helpful booklets on employment issues from your local Jobcentre.

The Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and Invest Northern Ireland offer a range of guidance publications on many different aspects of employment legislation. These include The no-nonsense guide to government rules and regulations for setting up your business, which you download from the Business Link and Invest Northern Ireland websites.

There is also comprehensive guidance on employees' rights and responsibilities on the BERR website.
Disability Discrimination Act

Anti-discrimination legislation gives rights to disabled people in the following areas:

* employment. You must make sure that you do not treat a disabled employee or job applicant less favourably than someone else
* accessing goods and services. You must make sure that disabled people are not treated less favourably and that they can access any services you provide. You may need to make physical changes to your premises to ensure this

The Equality and Human Rights Commission and Equality Northern Ireland websites contain further information on your duties under the Act.
More information on legal matters

The Law Society operates the 'Lawyers for Your Business' scheme, which offers a free initial consultation with a participating legal firm.


15 Apr 2009
First Name
Thanks for that.

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