Special treatments licence
Premises offering special treatments, such as massage, acupuncture, manicure, piercing and tattooing, sauna and light, electric or vapour treatments must have a licence.
Teeth whitening is not a licensable service. You may be subject to legal action by the General Dental Council if you offer or facilitate this service without being an appropriately registered professional.
If you're a member of a professional body, check the exempted organisations list (pdf, 160kb) to see if you're exempt. If you're in an exempt professional organisation, you still need to tell us which organisation you belong to and provide your membership details.
If the special treatment is carried out by, or under the supervision of, a member of one of these bodies, you don't need a licence for that specific treatment.
Exemption only applies to the special treatments specified in the ‘Treatments’ column next to the organisation. If you offer any other special treatments at the premises that aren't administered by a member of a relevant exempt organisation, the premises will require a licence.
If you believe you're exempt from the requirement of having a licence, you must submit necessary evidence. Otherwise, you must apply for a licence. For more information, contact us.
Applying for a new licence
You can apply for a new special treatments licence online.
Once your application has been submitted and paid for online, it's automatically sent to the responsible authorities, so there is no need for applicants to send in paper hard copies. A notice of the application must be placed in the window of the premises for the whole duration of 28 days as soon as you submit your application. You can download a copy of the A3 notice (pdf, 26kb). Please note that this has to be printed on A3 white paper.
Variation of a licence
If you already have a current licence but want to provide a treatment not covered in the terms of your licence or add an operative, you'll be required to seek a variation and pay a variation fee per operative and they must all have advance level 2 . You can vary to an existing licence online.
Renewal of a licence
If you already hold a licence, you'll automatically be sent a renewal letter approximately one month before the expiry date. You can renew an existing licence online.
Transfer a licence
You can transfer a licence online.
Licences become due for renewal on 31 July. Your licence may be issued for a shorter or longer period so that it coincides with the renewal date. The maximum duration of a licence in this case is 18 months.
You can view our public control fees (pdf, 155kb) list here.
Application evaluation process
Once your application is received, a licensing officer will contact you to make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises.
The inspection will ensure that the premises meet the standards in the licensing conditions.
We advise you to read the guidance notes on safety regulations:
- nickel in jewellery safety regulations (pdf, 45kb)
- sunbeds safe UV irradiance limits (pdf, 132kb)
- cosmetic products safety regulations (pdf, 95kb)
If your application is unsuccessful, you may appeal. If you need help with your appeal, download a copy of the application and objections procedure (pdf, 65kb).
Any application for a special treatments licence that's opposed and cannot be resolved by our licensing service will be set down for determination by the Licensing Sub Committee at an oral hearing in public. Download the guideance for public hearings (pdf, 21kb) for more information.
Page last updated: 09 April 2018