Special treatments licence

According to the London Local Authorities Act 1990, these types of treatments need to be licensed with the council:

  • Massage
  • Manicure
  • Acupuncture
  • Tattooing
  • Cosmetic piercing
  • Chiropody
  • Light treatments
  • Electric treatments
  • Other similar treatments, including vapour, sauna or other baths (Including infra-red sauna cabin)

Registration must cover both the person carrying out the treatment and the premises.  The council has powers to refuse a licence application. Good practice is controlled through compliance with licence conditions in each case.

The applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe and hygienic, to prevent the spread of disease and to comply fully with the general duty of care as required by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and set conditions.

It is illegal to conduct treatments unless a licence has been formally approved.

Once an application has been made and a fee of £311 has been paid, an officer will undertake to inspect the premises. If the officer considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, the application will be approved.

The officer will also check on compliance with the following conditions and ensure that general health and safety requirements are being met. The officer will be pleased to offer any advice or give any help if you are unsure about how to meet these obligations.

The fee for IPL (Intense Pulse Light) with or without other treatments is £500

Licence condition requirements


  • All surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair.
  • All furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair.
  • Tables, couches, seats, etc, used in the treatment area must have a smooth, impervious surface which is regularly wiped down with disinfectant and covered by a disposable paper sheet, changed after each client.
  • A 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed.

Cleanliness of practitioners

  • Any overall worn by the practitioner should be clean and in good repair.
  • The practitioner's hands and nails must be kept clean.
  • Any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing.
  • The practitioner should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area.
  • The practitioner should have sole use of the washing facilities which must provide hot and cold running water, soap (or a similar cleanser) and a nail brush


  • Any needle, metal instrument or other item of equipment used in the treatment must be in a sterile condition and kept sterile until it is used.
  • If pre-sterilised items are not used then adequate facilities must be provided for the purpose of sterilisation.

Further information

Copies of the London Local Authorities Act 1990 can be obtained from Office of Public Sector Information, or a copy can be inspected at the Council offices where you may also obtain details of the application form and further help or advice.

Alternatively, download a copy of the application form (pdf, 1.5 mb) or apply online through the Businesslink website.

You will be contacted in writing on receipt of the application form and a site visit arranged.

Contact us:

Business and Consumer Regulations Service

Mulberry Place 6th floor

5 Clove Crescent
E14 2BG

Opening hours are: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Tel: 020 7364 5008
Fax: 020 7364 6901

Email: healthandsafety@towerhamlets.gov.uk