Tattoo and Body Piercing Establishments


Procedures for Starting a Body Art Business in El Dorado County

Welcome to El Dorado County’s body art information page. Here you will find everything you need to know about getting your body art business up and running!


The term “body art” refers to piercing, tattooing, branding, and permanent cosmetics. Businesses who provide mechanical stud and clasp ear piercing (for example, hair salons or accessory stores offering ear piercing services) are treated differently than body art businesses.

The process of starting a body art business has two distinct parts, each with its own forms, fees, and requirements. In order to make this process easier to work with, we have divided it into two broad categories: artist registration and facility permitting.

For example, a person desiring to start a body piercing shop where they would be the owner and sole employee would have to go through the following:

  1.  Register with EMD as a body piercer  
  2.  Submit plans for the proposed shop  
  3.  Submit application for body art facility permit  

Another example: Two tattooists, a body piercer, and a brander would have to go through the following:

  1.  Each artist would have to register with EMD  
  2.  Submit plans for the proposed shop  
  3.  Submit application for body art facility permit  


Artist Registration Information Page

Fill out the Registration form(PDF, 267KB) .

Application and fee are needed for each artist. Remember, this does not cover the actual building in which body art is to be performed. This section is only for the registration of each artist who will be working at the facility.

Please provide documentation of:

  1. Hepatitis Vaccination OR vaccination declination
  2. Completion of an OSHA-approved bloodborne pathogen course
  3. At least six months of experience in the body art field


Body Art Facility Information






Before constructing or remodeling an existing facility, submit a service request form(PDF, 284KB) and your floor plan to our office for approval. The floor plan should show all details required in the Safe Body Art Act. Click here for a listing of the requirements for a body art facility.  A plan review fee will be charged. You will receive a copy of your approved plan for your records. (Fee Schedule) 

Fill out the Body Art Facility Permit Application form(PDF, 163KB)  and send or deliver it to the El Dorado County Environmental Management Office. You must provide documentation that you have a current business license. There is an annual permit fee. (Fee Schedule)

The "Medical Waste Management Act" forms must be read, filled out and submitted to our office. Generally, body art establishments hauling their own medical waste will fill out the "Limited Quantity Hauling Exemption Application Form(PDF, 71KB) ". There is an annual permit fee for hauling your own medical waste. If you will be using a registered medical waste hauler instead of hauling the waste yourself, the permit fee to our office is a one-time fee. Fill out the appropriate medical waste tracking documents. (Fee Schedule)
After you have constructed or remodeled your establishment, call our office for a final inspection. You will receive written approval to begin operations. Expect annual, unannounced inspections from our office. If complaints are made, these will also be investigated.


Body Art Facility and Plan Check List 

This plan check list is provided as a guide to assist in opening a body art shop. The applicant must complete Parts A and B prior to providing services to the public.

Part A. To be submitted as part of the application package:

  1. Drawing of the shop showing the location of the procedure area, workstations, handwashing sinks, mop sink, employee bathroom, and the clean room (along with the placement of the ultrasonic cleaner and autoclave, if one is to be used). A clean room is not necessary if the establishment is using 100% single-use equipment. Drawing must identify materials used on the floors, walls, ceilings, etc. (for example, whether concrete, laminate, or tile is to be used).Drawings must also list the following specifications:
    • Adequate lighting
    • Floors, walls and ceilings smooth, free of open holes, and washable.
    • Be free of insect and rodent infestation.
    • Separate from nail or hair activities. (if applicable)
    • Separate from any residential areas in the same building.
    • Drawings do not need to be done by an architect.
  2. If an autoclave is to be used:
    • Spore test result showing the autoclave is operational. Spore test must be recent (less than 30 days) and sampled according to manufacturer’s guidelines.
    • Copy of the service agreement with the spore testing laboratory. 
    • Copy of the manufacture’s specification for the autoclave 
  3. Copy of proposed Infection Prevention and Control Plan for the shop Click here for a template(PDF, 208KB)
  4. List of artists anticipated to work in the shop
  5. Proof of compliance with local business, building, and zoning requirements  
  6. Body art facility application and fee (fee schedule)
  7. Request for Service form and fee (fee schedule)
  8. Artist registration form and fee (fee schedule


Part B. A final inspection will be required before the facility opens.

The facility must have the following in place within the shop before services can be provided:

  1. Client consent forms
  2. Written aftercare instructions
  3. Infection prevention and control procedure written (click (here) for a template)
  4. Class V integrators and sterilization logs if using an autoclave
  5. Hot and cold running water
  6. Operational hand-washing sink
  7. Clean room set-up (if applicable)
  8. Single use supplies (needles, ink wells, gloves, paper towels, plastic wrap or other coverings for chairs, workstations, etc.)
  9. Cleaning and disinfecting supplies
  10. Sharps container
  11. Containerized liquid soap and single use paper towels, dispensed from wall mounted dispenser at handwashing sink for workstation.
  12. Lined waste containers
  13. Availability of public restroom with soap and single use towels (see below*)
  14. Proof of business license
  15. Body Art Facility permit from this department
  16. Registration certification from this office for each artist.

Applicants for a new Body Art Facility should allow adequate time to complete Parts A & B of the Plan Check List prior to the facility’s anticipated opening. Body art services cannot be provided until the items on this check list are completed and approved.

Please be aware that other local jurisdictions will require separate time considerations to review applicable business and zoning requirements.

*Requirement for availability for a public restroom should be deferred to the local jurisdiction. 


Additional Requirements and Body Art Regulations:

Button blue square Hepatitis B Declination Statement(PDF, 62KB)

Button blue square Mechanical Stud and Clasp ear piercing facilities must file a one time notification form(PDF, 143KB)  with this department.

Button blue square All artists must complete annual blood borne pathogen training.

Button blue square Infection Prevention and Control Plan Template(PDF, 208KB)

Medical Waste Management Act - California Health and Safety Code; Sections 117600 - 118360 California Law AB300(PDF, 100KB)


For more information regarding Tattoo & Body Piercing, please call:

In Placerville: (530) 621-5300
In South Lake Tahoe: (530) 573-3450