Tattoo industry

New laws for the tattoo industry

From 1 July 2016 persons that provide tattoo services will be regulated and must comply with new rules. The reforms are part of the State Government’s commitment to tackling organised crime in South Australia.

The legislation will impact any person who:

  • tattoos another person
  • carries on a business providing tattoo services
  • is an employee at a tattoo business
  • sells or supplies tattooing equipment.

Cosmetic tattooing which resembles make-up or tattooing that is performed in the course of medical treatment are exempt from the legislation.

Lodge a notification

All tattooing service providers must lodge a Notification to Commissioner for Consumer Affairs. Click the link below to access the electronic smart form.

Sub-contractors and visiting artists

If you have a sub-contracting arrangement with another tattoo business, or are visiting from interstate or overseas to provide tattoo services, you still need to lodge a notification to the Commissioner.

Trading premises

  • you should list your registered premises as the place you predominantly provide tattooing services from (e.g. tattoo parlour, tattoo show location)
  • you do not have to provide a copy of the lease agreement for the premises if you are not the person leasing the property
  • you can add a comment at the end of your notification form that you are a sub-contractor or just visiting SA temporarily


Certain persons can be disqualified from providing tattoo services, including members of organised crime gangs and their associates. For detailed information regarding disqualifications see the Disqualification Guideline (PDF 116KB).

It will be an offence to provide tattooing services if you are disqualified. The maximum penalty is $250,000 for a company or four years imprisonment for an individual.

Requirements for tattoo businesses

Businesses that provide tattoo services will be required to keep particular records and provide certain information to the Commissioner for Consumer Affairs, such as the name and address of company directors and all employees. It will be an offence to fail to provide the required information or to provide false or misleading information.

Business owners must:

  • Notify CBS by 28 July 2016 that you are carrying on a business which provides tattoo services; and
  • Ensure that all of your employees, who are tattooists or who sell tattooing equipment, also notify CBS by 28 July 2016.
  • Electronic notification form

Failure to notify may result in a maximum penalty of $100,000 or one year imprisonment for an individual or a fine of $250,000 for body corporates.


There are no up-front or on-going fees.

Tattoo shows

Tattoo service providers must notify CBS if they plan to participate at a tattoo show, convention or fair in South Australia.

Electronic notification form

Drugs and weapons

It will also be an offence to have a firearm, explosive, weapon or dangerous article on premises where tattoo services are provided. SA Police will have increased powers in relation to drug detection and weapon and explosive searches at tattoo premises.

Advice and further information

Tattoo parlour owners are encouraged to seek their own advice about the impact that this legislation will have on their business.

For further information:

CBS does not provide a public list of disqualified persons. If you need to check the status of a person (such as your employee) you should in the first instance ask them for their confirmation email from CBS. Alternatively, you can complete the form below to obtain a response from our office.

Other requirements

Information for businesses that provide tattooing, piercing and body modification services is also available from: