Tattoo industry

You don't need a licence to provide tattooing services in South Australia, but the industry is regulated by consumer and Business Services (CBS). Rules apply to anyone who:

  • tattoos another person (even if there is no fee)
  • carries on a business providing tattoo services
  • is an employee at a tattoo business
  • is a director of a body corporate that provides tattoo services
  • sells or supplies tattooing equipment.

Things you must tell CBS

Business and employee details

Business details

Businesses that provide tattoo services must keep records and tell CBS:

  • that you are running a business that provides tattoo services
  • the name and address of company directors
  • details of all employees.
  • details of your lease agreement or title of deed
  • details of the place you predominantly provide tattooing services - eg tattoo parlour, tattoo show location.


Every employee who is a tattooist or who sells tattooing equipment also notify CBS.

Subcontractors and visitors to SA

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 notify CBS.

Exempt activities

You don't need to notify CBS if you provide tattooing which resembles make-up or is performed in the course of medical treatment.


There are no fees.

Changes in circumstances

As a tattoo service provider you are required to notify CBS within 14 days if your circumstances change - eg:

  • personal details
  • directorship changes
  • attending events
  • business address details
  • trading name
  • any change in circumstance that may result in disqualification.

Participation in tattoo shows

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

Notify now

Offences and penalties

Providing false or misleading information

Failure to provide the required information or providing false or misleading information is an offence. Individuals can be fined $100,000 or face one year imprisonment and body corporates can be fined $250,000.

Operating when disqualified

Certain people can be disqualified from providing tattoo services, including members of organised crime gangs and their associates.

It is 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.

Disqualification guidelines for the tattoo industry (PDF 172KB).

CBS does not provide a public list of disqualified persons. If you need to check a person's status - eg an employee - ask them for their confirmation email from CBS.

If they can't give you their confirmation email, you can request the information from CBS.

Tattoo information request form (PDF 196KB)

Prohibited items

In premises where tattoo services are provided, it's an offence to have:

  • drugs
  • firearms
  • explosives
  • weapons
  • any other dangerous items.

SA Police can search a premises if they believe they will find any of these prohibited items.

Related information

Other websites

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone: 131 882

GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001

Was this page useful?

Page last updated 7 December 2018

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
Last Updated:
Printed on:
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2022