Massage and special treatment licence

You will need to apply for a licence under the London Local Authorities Act 1991 as amended if you own or manage premises offering any of the following treatments, unless you can claim an exemption:

  • massage
  • manicure
  • pedicure
  • facials
  • nail extensions
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • body piercing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • chiropody
  • light
  • electric
  • other special treatments such as sun beds, vapour, laser, sauna or other baths

To see whether you need a licence to provide a particular type of treatment please view our checklist.


A licence is not needed if the treatments are given:

  • without gain or reward – all treatments provided for free or donation
  • without premises used – mobile service from a vehicle or in clients’ own homes
  • for treatments done by or under the supervision of medical practitioners, dentists and professions supplementary to medicine
  • in a hospital or nursing home
  • for treatments done by or under the supervision of a person who is a member of a body of health practitioners approved for exemption by the council. View the full list.

If you do not need a licence, you still need to comply with the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and allied regulations.


Licences are granted for a maximum period of twelve months. We have standard conditions which are applied to every licence granted.

In some cases additional special conditions may be imposed. It may take up to 6 weeks for a licence to be issued providing no objections have been received.

What if my licence is due to or has expired?

All licences must be renewed before their date of expiry.

Health and safety at work

You can read general information about health and safety at work and health and safety in nail bars.