Personal appearance services licence

Personal appearance services include beauty therapy, body piercing, hairdressing and skin penetration services (tattooing, scarring and implanting substances). Businesses that provide higher risk personal appearance services need a licence from Brisbane City Council.

When you need a licence

As a general guide, a licence is needed to conduct higher risk personal appearance services which may involve the release of blood or other bodily fluid.

Examples of higher risk activities that require a licence include:

  • body piercing (does not include ear and nose piercing with a gun)
  • implanting natural or synthetic substances into a person's skin (for example hair or beads, or the use of cosmetic injectables such as anti-wrinkle injections, fillers or other cosmetic injectables)
  • scarring or cutting a person's skin using a sharp instrument to make a permanent mark, pattern or design
  • tattooing (including cosmetic and semi-permanent tattooing)
  • tattoo removal involving skin penetration.

Guidance on the types of activities considered higher risk personal appearance services can be found in the Queensland Health Personal Appearance Services Categorisation Table, available on the Queensland Health website.

When no licence is needed

Non-higher risk services that do not need a licence include:

  • ear and nose piercing (with a gun)
  • hairdressing
  • beautician services (waxing, nail sculpting/enhancing, electrolysis, application of cosmetics and treatments).

Personal appearance services provided in a health care facility  are exempt and do not require a licence. 

However, you still need to comply with other relevant requirements, including:


Payment of an application fee is required when you lodge your Personal Appearance Services Licence Application with Council.

Table showing application types and fees.
Application typesFee
New licence application$1014.70
Renewal licence application$543.70
Transfer of existing licence$543.70
Amendment to existing licence (significant)$1014.70
Inspection fee for higher risk or non-higher risk service (mobile or fixed)$445.80

Note: An amendment (significant) is an alteration/expansion in business activity. There is no charge for a minor or administrative amendment only e.g. postal address change or licence details correction change.

These fees do not attract GST.

How to apply

To apply for a Personal Appearance Services Licence, follow the instructions below.

1. Planning approval

Find out if you need planning approval. If you need planning approval, you must obtain it before you can apply for a Personal Appearance Services Licence Application.

2. Supporting documents

Prepare the supporting documents that need to be attached to your application. For an online application, the supporting documents should be saved as Word, PDF or JPG files. 


Your premises design needs to meet the requirements of the Queensland Development Code, Part 5.2 – Higher Risk Personal Appearance Services. The required information needs to be clearly displayed on:

  • floor plan showing all fittings, fixtures and equipment
  • sectional elevations to show the height of fittings and fixtures
  • site plan showing location of site in relationship to surrounding land uses

Plans should clearly legible, be drawn to scale 1:100 or 1:200 with sectional elevations and details not more than 1:50. Plans should be no larger than A3.

Infection Control Qualification for employees

The employees who will deliver the high-risk personal appearance services need to complete an Infection Control qualification with an accredited training provider. The infection control competency standard is attainment of the competency called ‘HLTINF005 – Maintain infection prevention for skin penetration treatments’.

You need to provide to Council copies of their Statements of Attainment before your licence can be issued.

3. Personal Appearance Services Licence Application

Complete the Personal Appearance Services Licence Application form online including:

  • uploading your supporting documents
  • paying the application fee using a Visa or Mastercard.

Alternatively, you can complete the hard copy form.

You will receive an outcome regarding your application in 20 working days.


After approval you will receive a renewal notice every 12 months.

Inspection request

If you are planning to purchase an existing personal appearance service business or need to demonstrate compliance for an insurance or bank application, you can request an inspection report outlining the current compliance status of the premises/activity.

Complete the Inspection Report Request online application and make payment with Visa or Mastercard.


To surrender a Personal Appearance Services Licence, complete the Licence or Permit surrender application online form.

More information

For more information phone Council's Business Hotline on 133 BNE (133 263), 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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