Personal Appearance Services

Do I need a licence for a personal appearance service?

Personal appearance services can spread disease and cause infection if not operated safely.

  • tattooing
  • body piercing
  • skin penetration activities
  • hairdressers
  • nail salons
  • beauty therapists.

Some of these services have a higher risk of spreading disease or causing infection as they can involve the release of blood or bodily fluid. 


Businesses providing higher risk personal appearance services require a licence and include the following.

  • body piercing, other than closed ear and nose piercing
  • implanting a natural or synthetic substance into a person’s skin, for example 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.

These activities need a licence even if they are being conducted on a fly in fly out basis.


In approving the licence WTA will assess the qualifications of the person delivering the service and the set-up of the establishment where the service is being delivered from. For more information on qualifications and set up see Public Health (infection Control for Personal Appearance Services) Act 2003 What business needs to know about personal appearance services.


If you have a mobile business (e.g. caravan) you only need a licence from the Council for where you store your vehicle. You can use your licence all over Queensland, as long as you notify the Council at least seven days before you want to operate in their area and provide:

  • your higher risk personal appearance service licence
  • your employees' infection control qualifications
  • dates you intend to operate
  • locations you intend to operate.


If you are not sure if your personal appearance service needs a licence please contact WTA on
07 4030 9400.