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Registering a personal care or body art (tattoo and piercing) business

Registering a new personal care or body art (tattoo and piercing) business

Before operating a personal care or body art business such as hairdressing, beauty, tattooing and body piercing, the proprietor/operator has to consider a number of compliance issues and must register their business under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 with Council’s Environmental Health Department.

Registration under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 is required to be renewed each year.

In order to register your business the following steps must be taken.

Step 1: Plans submission

To ensure premises will comply with the requirements of the Health Guidelines for Personal Care and Body Art Industries, Council offers a plans approval service for the proposed premises (or renovations/improvements to existing premises) and providing advice before construction commences.

This service is useful in helping proprietors avoid having to make costly alterations once construction has started or been completed. If plans are not submitted any works undertaken must comply with the Health Guidelines for Personal Care and Body Art Industries.

You will need to submit two copies of the plans drawn to a scale of no less than 1:100 showing:

  • General requirements: a floor plan, the layout of all the equipment, fittings and fixtures, where they will be located. Include specifications to be used on floors, walls and ceilings.
  • Specific requirements: indicate the nature of the work practices to be carried out in the premises. This includes practices carried out in each room.

You will need to fill out the  Plans Assessment Application Form PHWA (PDF) and submit it together with your plans and prescribed fee.

To assist you in the preparation of your plans, further information can be obtained from the  Personal Care and Body Art Specifications (PDF, 1.5MB).

Step 2: Plans assessment

Council’s Environmental Health Department will assess all plans within 20 working days.

Once you receive a copy of your endorsed plans, together with the approval letter, you may begin work on the premises.

Step 3: Inspection/s

You may organise a progress inspection with an Environmental Health Officer to make sure that work is being carried out as per the approved plans.

At the completion of works, you will need to contact Council’s Environmental Health Department to arrange a final inspection.

During the final inspection an Environmental Health Officer will check that all the applicable Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requirements have been met.

If all requirements have not been met the premises may not be able to open.

Step 4: Registration

If all requirements have been met an Application for Public Health and Wellbeing Act Registration is given to you.

This must be completed and submitted to Council with the prescribed fee before the premises may operate. Once the registration has been processed, the premises will receive a Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 Certificate of Registration and the business will then be able to operate.

If the premises operates prior to receiving the Certificate of Registration it will be operating unregistered, which is an offence under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008.

Personal care business registration fees

Public Health and Wellbeing Act Premises Registration forms are mailed to shop proprietors in November and payment is due by 31 December each year.

Fees are:

  • hairdressers, beauty parlours
    • registration fee $195
  • skin penetration
    • registration fee $195
  • dual premises
    • registration fee $265
  • transfer of registration fee
    • transfer 50 per cent of annual registration fee

Please note:

  • a 50 per cent late fee applies to all the above registration fees.
  • fees and charges are subject to change.

Transfer of personal care business registration

If you are buying an existing business that provides hairdressing, beauty treatment or skin penetration procedures (such as tattooing, body piercing, ear piercing), it is recommended to organise an inspection of the premises under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act prior to purchasing the business.

To request a transfer inspection of a Personal Care Business business, the appropriate forms (consent to release information and request for inspection form) must be filled out and include:

  • the address of the premises to be inspected
  • the name and address of the person requesting inspection
  • the fee of $245 for report to be received within 10 working days, or $500 for report to be received within four working days

When the transfer inspection is finalised both parties must complete an Application for Transfer of Registration, and pay the appropriate fee.


Annual registration fee

To confirm the applicable registration fee contact Council’s Environmental Health Department on (03) 9599 4417 or

Personal care newsletter

Council produces and distributes an annual newsletter for all Personal Care & Body Art businesses.

This newsletter contains information regarding Victorian health laws and new methods and practices to improve services provided to customers.

View the latest edition of the Personal Care Newsletter.

Page last updated: 18 Jul 2016