Business Related Licences

Acupuncturist, tattooist, ear-piercing and electrolysis

Acupuncture, tattooing, ear piercing and electrolysis in the district must be registered with Mole Valley District Council (MVDC). It is illegal to conduct ear piercing, tattooing, acupuncture or electrolysis unless the registration has been formally approved.

An applicant must ensure that the procedures, equipment and facilities used are safe, hygienic, can prevent the spread of disease and comply fully with the general duty of care required.

Once an application has been submitted and the fee paid, an inspection of the premises will be made. If the inspector considers the applicant's procedures and the premises to be suitable, then registration will be approved. There are no powers to refuse registration, but the practice is controlled through compliance with byelaws in each case.

Bye-laws requirements


  • 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

Premises and cleanliness

  • a 'No Smoking' sign must be prominently displayed
  • all furniture and fittings in the treatment area must be kept clean and in good repair
  • all surfaces in any part of the premises used by clients must be kept clean and in good repair
  • any open cut, wound, sore or boil must be suitably covered by an impermeable dressing
  • any overall worn by the operative should be 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
  • the operative 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
  • the operative should not smoke nor drink in the treatment area
  • the operative's hands and nails must be kept clean  

Further guidance

Registration holders must adhere to the following:

  • a person under the age of 18 years may receive body piercing provided that a written permission form is produced from, or the treatment is performed in the presence of, the person's parent or guardian
  • it is an offence to tattoo any person under the age of 18 years, regardless of parental consent
  • records should be retained for a minimum of one year
  • nipple and genital piercing is prohibited on minors, regardless of parental consent
  • the health of the client and the suitability of the treatment should be discussed prior to its administration. It is advisable to keep written records of the name and address of every client and date of the activity. Accurate dates will be valuable if there is any question of an infection problem and can often help to protect the practitioner

Applying for a licence

If you would like to apply for a permit online, you can complete an electronic application form through GOV.UK. For details on charges, please see the 'Environment Health Fees and Charges' page. If you have any queries, please email

Tacit consent does not apply to this application as it is in the public interest for MVDC to process your application before it can be granted.

If you experience problems downloading and opening the Adobe form, please do the following:

Firstly, please note this must be done on a computer or laptop and will likely not work on a hand-held device or mobile phone.

•    Click the Download link once you have entered your businesses postcode on the GOV.UK page
•    Separately open the Adobe Reader program from your Microsoft ‘Start’ Menu. 
•    Within Adobe Reader go to ‘File’ and then ‘Open’ which should open your documents folder.
•    Within your folders click ‘Downloads’ and then find the form, it should be called ‘Mole_Valley_Application_for_a_licence_to_carry_out_acupuncture,_tattooing,_piercing_and_or_electrolysis’, open this document.  
•    Once completed, follow the instruction at the end of the form to upload the application back on to the GOV.UK website. 

Scrap metal dealers licence

A scrap metal dealer in the district must be licensed with MVDC.

If you would like to apply for a permit online, you can complete an electronic application form through GOV.UK . If you have any queries, please email

In summary, the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 provides the following:

  • scrap metal dealers and motor salvage operators will both be "scrap metal dealers"
  • an enhanced licence application process, including consultation with the police and Environment Agency. There will be two categories of licence - a site licence (can be for multiple sites within MVDC's area) and a collector's licence (separate licences will be required for each council area where collections take place)
  • power for MVDC to refuse or revoke licence or impose conditions where appropriate, subject to the right to make representations before refusal, revocation or the imposition of conditions (these are limited to times of operation and a requirement that metal will be kept in its original form for a minimum of 72 hours)
  • licence to be displayed at site or on collector's vehicle where it can be read by the public
  • sellers must produce personal ID at the point of sale
  • no cash purchases of scrap metal in any circumstances
  • police and MVDC have authority to inspect sites
  • central on-line register held by the Environment Agency
  • fees are set locally
  • closure notice (from police or local authority) for unlicensed sites; closure orders (via magistrates' court) if still used as such after seven days

For details on charges, please see the 'Environment Health Fees and Charges' page.

Sex establishments licence

Sex establishments in the district must be licensed with MVDC.

These establishments can be:

  • sex cinemas: any premises used to a significant degree for showing films which are concerned primarily with, or relate to, or are intended to stimulate sexual activity
  • sexual entertainment venues (SEVs): premises used for the following forms of entertainment: lap dancing, pole dancing, table dancing, strip shows, peep shows and live sex shows
  • sex shops: premises used for business which consist to a significant degree of selling sex articles

When considering an application for a sex establishment licence, MVDC may only use the following criteria:

  • the location and situation of the premises in relation to other premises in the area
  • the suitability of the applicant
  • whether the number of sex establishments in that locality is equal to, or exceeds the number which the council considers appropriate for the area
  • whether the person applying is a 'front' person for someone else

Applying for a licence

If you would like to apply for a licence please download, complete and return the 'Sex Establishment application form' (see 'Downloads') to: Licensing, Mole Valley District Council, Pippbrook, Dorking, Surrey. RH4 1SJ or email it to Please also read the guidance notes (see 'Downloads').

Tacit consent does not apply to applications for this licence as it is in the public interest for the authority to process your application before it can be granted.

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