Personal Appearance Services Licence (Brisbane) - Queensland


Please note: Incomplete or incorrect applications may be rejected by Brisbane City Council.

You need a Brisbane City Council Personal appearance services licence for any premises, place or vehicle operating in the Brisbane City Council area which provides any of the following skin penetration procedures:

  • body piercing
  • implanting natural or synthetic substances into a persons skin, including for example hair and beads
  • scarring or cutting a persons skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark, pattern or design
  • tattooing.

You do not need a Personal appearance services licence for:

  • hairdressing
  • beauty therapy, including facial or body treatments, application of cosmetics, manicures or pedicures, application of or mending artificial nails, epilation (hair removal) by electrolysis or wax
  • skin penetration procedures that are not mentioned above, for example closed ear or nose piercing.

If a licence is not required, you still have a responsibility to comply with the following to ensure the safe provision of personal appearance services to your customers:

  • relevant Legislation (refer to Tools and Resources at the Local Government Toolbox)
  • other council approvals (refer to How to Apply Related Applications at the Local Government Toolbox)
  • personal appearance services provided within a health-care facility are exempt from the Act and do not require licence from council but need to comply with relevant medical legislation and other council approvals (refer to How to Apply Related Applications at the Local Government Toolbox).

Service type


A licence defines the need to obtain recognition / certification and registration to undertake a certain business activity.

Eligibility requirements

The steps for licensing a Personal Appearance Services premises or vehicle are:

  1. Obtain all the prerequisite approvals listed below that apply to your situation.
  2. Apply for this licence (Personal Appearance Service Licence Application).
  3. If the design is approved, construct and/or fit out your premises and/or vehicle.
  4. Apply for any additional approvals required for your situation.
  5. Council will inspect the premises and/or vehicle before issuing the licence.
  6. Once the licence has been issued, you can start operating.

Prerequisite approvals:

  • development (town planning) approval from Council (fixed premises only).
  • building approval from a Building Certifier, if constructing or fitting out the premises or making changes to the fit out that involve any building work (fixed premises only). Fixed and mobile premises must comply with the building standards in Part 15 of the Queensland Development Code (QDC), published by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning.
  • plumbing approval from Council if installing or altering plumbing work (fixed premises only).
  • trade waste approval from Council if discharging waste to sewers/drains.

Additional approvals:

  • advertising sign permit/s from Council if applicable.
  • all people who personally provide the Personal Appearance Service must have attained the competency standard HLTIN402C - Maintain Infection Control Standards in Office Practice Settings from the HLT02 Health Training Package. Details of the competency standard are available at Alternatively, contact your Local Council or the Communicable Diseases Branch of Queensland Health on (07) 3328 9724.


The licence is issued for one year and can be renewed annually.


Contact council to determine applicable fees.

Application process

You can obtain this licence by completing the Personal appearance services licence application form and submit it to council by mail or in person with the correct fee and all documentation attached.

Transfers and amendments must be lodged by mail or in person at your nearest council regional business centre.

Council may inspect the premises and/or vehicle during or shortly after the licensing process.

If you are an agent for the proposed licence holder, e.g. solicitor or consultant, and you are lodging the application on their behalf, you must provide proof of your authorisation. An Agent Authorisation form is supplied for this purpose. If you are applying online, scan the completed and signed form, convert it to PDF format and attach to the application. You must supply all mandatory information and documentation when making an application. If your application is substantially incomplete, or incorrect, Brisbane City Council will not be able to process the application. Council will not refund fees in this case. You may need to pay a resubmission fee if you resubmit an application that has previously been refused for this reason.

If you have any questions about your application, contact the Brisbane City Council call centre.


To renew your licence online you will need your renewal notice. Click on Online Services under the Payments and eServices tab. Select Pay a bill. Select Permit Renewals and follow the prompts. You can also renew your licence by phone or in person at any Brisbane City Council regional business centre.

Transfer process

You can transfer a Personal appearance services licence if it is current (not lapsed) and there will be no significant alterations to the premises/vehicle or its operation, e.g. building work or changes to fit out or opening hours.

If there will be significant alterations, contact council and ask to speak to a Development Officer, Environmental Health to determine what type of application you need to make.

If you are buying a Personal appearance service premises or vehicle, council strongly recommends you obtain a council Inspection Report (previously known as a Vendors Certificate) before you proceed with the purchase to make sure the premises or vehicle complies with legislation.

After settlement, the new owner should complete a Personal appearance services licence application form. On the form, tick the Transfer of licence application type and provide the current licence number. The previous licence holder must sign the form.

Submit the application with the correct fee and documentation either by mail or in person at the nearest council regional business centre. You cannot lodge a transfer application online at this time.

If an Inspection Report was not obtained, a council officer may inspect the premises and/or vehicle as part of the transfer process. It must comply with all legislative requirements for the transfer to be approved.

Additional information

Personal appearance services must only be provided in the licensed premises and/or vehicle, i.e. you must not provide the service at any other place.

The Environmental Protection (Waste Management) Regulation 2000 contains information about the disposal of waste (including sharps disposal).

It is illegal for a person to administer, apply, inject, sell or give away an anesthetic or pain reducing substance to another person unless they are endorsed under the Health (Drugs and Poisons) Regulation 1996 to do so.

It is an offence under the Summary Offences Act 2005 to pierce the genitals or nipples of a minor (a person under 18 years) as part of a business transaction, or to tattoo a minor. It is no defence that the minors parent or guardian consented to the piercing.

Administering agency

Brisbane City Council

Contact details

Contact Email, Phone and Address Details for this service in simple two column table format, header then data.

Brisbane City Council

Operating address: Library & Customer Centre, 266 George Street
Queensland 4000
Mailing address: GPO Box 1434
Queensland 4001
Phone: 07 3403 8888
Fax: 07 3403 9982
Website: Brisbane City Council (Opens in new window)