How to licence a special treatment premises

You must have a licence for your premises from us to provide special treatments. 

The licence is valid for one year. You must renew it every year.

What are special treatments?

This covers a wide variety of treatments including:

  • massage
  • tattooing and microblading
  • water treatments such as saunas
  • electrical treatments
  • other health and beauty treatments

Please check the A to Z of treatments to see if the treatments you wish to offer are special treatments.

Terms and conditions

Licence holders must meet the licence terms and conditions. 

The General Terms and Conditions 2023 apply to all premises holding a licence. 

Specific conditions relating to each treatment also apply: 

Right to work qualifications

The licence holder must make sure people offering special treatments within their premises:

  • have the right to work in the UK
  • hold suitable qualifications

Find out how to check if a person has the right to work

We only accept national regulated qualifications. You can check qualifications on The Register of Regulated Qualifications (OFQUAL).

Qualifications from overseas

We accept overseas qualifications if they are comparable to the required UK qualification. 

You must get a statement of comparability to show that a qualification is comparable. 

Traditional tattooing and cosmetic piercing

There are currently no accredited qualifications available for tattooing or cosmetic piercing. The practitioner must be able to either provide:

  • evidence including references of two years' apprenticeship or
  • evidence of training with a tattooist who has at least two years experience

Accredited qualifications are available for micro-blading, micropigmentation and semi-permanent make-up. Anyone wishing to offer these treatments must have the relevant qualifications. 


You may be exempt from needing a license if everyone who works for your premises is:

Fully registered osteopaths still need a license for acupunture. 

Licence fees

  New or lapsed Renewal Variation
Special treatment licence £597.83 £464.50 £89.50

Apply for a licence

Contact for an application pack.

All applications are subject to a 28-day consultation.

Two months before you plan to start offering special treatment you should send: 

  • your full application 
  • any supporting documents  

To apply you will need: 

  • public liability insurance for the treatments you will offer (minimum cover of £2 million) 
  • an electrical installation certificate for the premises, less than 5 years old 
  • a copy of floor plan of the premises 
  • a copy of your photo ID, for sole traders
  • a copy of both partners' photo IDs, for partnerships

What happens next?

We will check your application for all the required information and documents. We will reject it if any are missing. You will need to apply again. 

We will then send a copy of your application to the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade.  

We will arrange to visit your premise to check all terms and conditions are being met.  

You must have records to prove the identity and qualifications of anyone offering special treatments at the premises. You should make these available to the officer during the visit. 

We try to decide all applications within two months. 

Once issued, you must display the licence in a public area in the premises. Licences are valid for one year and are non-refundable.  

You can apply and pay a fee to transfer a licence to another person. You cannot transfer a licence to another location. 

Offences and penalties

It is an offence to provide or advertise a special treatment at a premises without a valid licence. 

Any person found guilty of an offence may be fined up to £2,500

Concerns and complaints

Special treatments are licensed to make sure they are carried out in a hygienic manner. The efficacy, results or quality of treatment is not covered by licence conditions. 

Contact if you have concerns that a premises: 

  • is providing special treatments without a licence
  • is not meeting their licence conditions