Special treatment licences

Health, beauty, tattoo and piercing licences

Do all beauty salons need a licence?

If you run a salon for health and beauty treatments, or carry out tattoos or piercings in Redbridge, you need a licence for your premises.

This is known as a special treatment licence, it covers:

  • massages & facials
  • manicures & pedicures
  • electrolysis
  • electrical treatments
  • laser treatment
  • light treatments - infrared and UV tanning
  • acupuncture
  • chiropody
  • body piercing & beading
  • cosmetic piercing
  • tattooing
  • bath & vapour treatments
  • metamorphic technique

To check if the treatment you provide needs a licence,  look at a copy of the full list of licensable treatments (PDF 448KB).

You must apply for an annual licence, which should be renewed each year.  You need a licence for the premises and the person carrying out the treatment. It is illegal to operate or advertise special treatments without first obtaining a licence from us. 

Licences are issued for the period 1 November to 31 October.

You must apply for, and be granted, a licence before you begin to offer a licensable service.



Membership of professional organisations will exempt you from licensing some treatments.  Check to see if this applies to you (PDF 188KB).  (This list is updated regularly.)

If you are fully exempt, you must inform us and provide copies of your membership and insurance documents so that we can confirm this and record the premises as such.  We do regularly receive enquiries about unlicensed practitioners so it is in all our interests to do so. 



All persons providing special treatments must hold an accredited qualification that meets National Occupational Standards in the treatments they carry out.  (The qualification must be at the equivalent level of the list of Ofqual regulated qualifications.)  These include those awarded by City & Guilds, VTCT, EDEXCEL, ITEC, CIBTAC/CIDESO or an equivalent awarding body.

All operatives will need to be qualified to Level 2 to 5 in a VRQ, S/NVQ or QCF relevant to the treatment they provide.

Operatives offering lasers/IPL must be qualified to Level 4/5 in a relevant subject plus trained on the specific laser/IPL machine and have Core of Knowledge safety training covering the syllabus specified in MHRA bulletin DB2008(03)) which shall be undertaken every 5 years.

Diplomas are not acceptable unless accompanied by the base level 2/3 - for example a level 3 covering massage accompanied by a diploma in Stone Therapy. 

Operatives with certificates not issued in the UK can apply to ENIC for their UK equivalent to be confirmed and will need to provide this confirmation.


Licence fees

Fees are charged according to the Categories of treatments to be included. See the list of all fees


Regulations and guidance notes

New regulations and guidance notes came into force in November 2022 and have been sent to all existing licence holders.  All licences are issued with the same general conditions  as listed in the regulations.  There are additional Codes of Practice to be followed for some treatments.

We will be adding these to this web page but if you are considering making an application or need another copy, please contact us for a copy. 



We aim to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation at all times. To see how we handle personal information, please ensure that you have read our privacy notice.  



If you have any queries, please contact licensing.authority@redbridge.gov.uk


New applications

Please read the regulations and guidance notes for the treatments you intend to provide, to be sure that you will be successful in your application.  Please read this guidance to the process.

If you have any queries, please contact licensing.authority@redbridge.gov.uk

For the premises, you will need to complete the following forms and return them with the relevant documents listed on the application form: 

In addition, each member of staff who will be providing the treatments must:



To apply for an individual or personal licence you:

  • must not have been refused the grant or renewal of a licence for the premises applied for within the last 12 months, unless the refusal has been reversed on appeal
  • must not have been convicted of an offence under Part II of the London Local Authorities Act 1991 within a period of 5 years and must declare any spent or unspent convictions

To apply for a company licence you must:

  • be an incorporated company in the UK
  • declare whether persons involved in the company have any spent or unspent convictions
  • must not have been convicted of an offence under Part II of the London Local Authorities Act 1991 within a period of five years

We must give written consent if you wish to employ or work with anyone who has been convicted of indecent or violent crimes



A non-refundable application fee must be paid before any application will be processed by the Licensing Team.  A cheque can be attached to the application or payment can be made over the phone by contacting our team.  There is no online Pay For It option for this.

The new application fee is £745 for a Category 1 premises (providing laser and IPL treatments) or £350 for other premises.

The licence category fee becomes payable once the application is approved and before the licence will be issued.  You will be invoiced for this fee as part of the application.


Notice display

You must display a notice on the in a place where it can easily be seen and read by anyone on the street or in nearby public places, including when the premises is closed. You must display the notice for 28 days, beginning the day the application is confirmed as received by the Licensing Team.

If the notice is defaced, damaged or missing, you must display a new notice a further 28 days.

Download the notice (PDF 55KB)


Commercial/clinical waste

It is your responsibility to organise a commercial waste contract for your premises and if necessary a clinical waste contract for sharps etc.  We will ask for confirmation that this is in place.  There are commercial companies who provide collection services, or call us on 020 8554 5000 for information on commercial or clinical waste collections with Redbridge.


Renew your licence

You must renew your licence each year, please use the forms below and return them with the documents listed on the forms.  

Reminders were sent out early in September, so that new licences can be processed ready for November, but please remember that it is your responsibility to apply on time so that the licence does not lapse. 

You do not have to wait for the reminder to arrive, forms can be downloaded from this page and submitted at any time. 

Please ensure that all pages are completed and all requested insurance and electrical documents are provided to reduce any delay in processing.

We will acknowledge receipt of all applications.  If a receipt is not received within 14 days of submitting the application, please contact us to confirm.

Licences will be sent electronically unless requested otherwise.


Change your licence

To vary or change your licence you must use the forms below.

If you are adding new treatments and existing staff have been re-trained to be able to provide these, we will request the specific training certificates and information on any new equipment for this. 


Transfer your licence

Licences are issued to a premises, there is no option to take a licence with you if you move to a new premises, a new application would be needed.

To transfer your premises licence to a new licence holder you must use the forms below which must be signed by both the outgoing licence holder and the incoming.  The incoming will be required to provide proof of qualifications as for a new application but there is no 28 day consultation period. The licence would be issued once all paperwork is confirmed and the fee paid.


Change staff on your licence

You must advise us of staff leaving and of new staff joining your salon within 7 days of their arrival.  Each new member of staff who will be providing the treatments must:


If you wish to appeal against a decision you may do so to the local Magistrates' Court. Appeals must be made within 21 days of the date you received notification of the decision in writing. Magistrates' Court decisions can be appealed to the Crown Court.