Piercing shop

Personal appearance services include beauty therapy, hairdressing, nail salons, tattooing, body piercing and other skin penetration procedures. These activities need to comply with the Public Health (Infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003 and the Infection Control Guidelines for Personal Appearance Services. Some businesses will require a licence.


When a licence is required

As a general rule, a licence is needed to conduct higher risk personal appearance services which may result in blood or other body fluid. Examples of higher risk activities that require a licence include:

  • body piercing (does not include ear and nose piercing with a gun)
  • implanting a natural or synthetic substance into a person’s skin e.g. hair or beads
  • scarring or cutting a person’s skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark, pattern or design
  • tattooing, including cosmetic tattooing and semi-permanent make-up
  • tattoo removal using micro needles.


When a licence isn't required

You won't require a licence if you perform the following activities:

  • hairdressing
  • closed ear or nose piercing
  • beauty therapy such as hair removal by electrolysis or waxing, manicures, pedicures and the application of cosmetics and treatments
  • massage therapy.

These services still need to comply with the Act and the Guidelines mentioned above, but don't require an additional licence from us. Planning approval will still be required.


How to apply for a licence

You can apply for a licence online by following these steps:

  1. Open ePathway.
  2. Register as a customer by selecting ‘Register’ in the top right corner. Registration can take up to 48 hours to be processed.
  3. Once registered, select ‘Sign in’.
  4. Under ‘Health Licences’ (bottom right corner), select the ‘Apply for assorted health licenses here’.
  5. Select ‘Personal Appearance Services’.
  6. Fill in the application. 

If you have any questions or would like clarification on any part of the application please contact us.


More information

If you would like advice on setting up a personal appearance service, an appointment with an Environmental Health Officer can be arranged by contacting us.

The following links provide helpful information relating to personal appearance services: