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Permits, violations & licenses

Apply for or renew certification for a body art establishment

The Department of Public Health approves the operation of body art establishments and the certification of body artists in Philadelphia. Body art includes:

  • Tattooing.
  • Body piercing.
  • Permanent makeup.
  • Microblading.

As part of our work, we:

  • Inspect body art businesses for sanitation and safety.
  • Close down non-certified body art businesses.
  • Maintain records of all certified body artists and apprentices in Philadelphia.
  • Offer training classes on blood-borne pathogens to artists and apprentices.


Anyone who wants to open a body art establishment in Philadelphia needs to complete all the steps in the application.


To run a body art business in Philadelphia, you may need to pay:

  • $100 for an annual body art establishment certificate.
  • $65 for a replacement certificate for a current body art establishment.
  • $255 for a plan review if you’re opening a new business.
  • $315 if you want to expedite the plan review process, in addition to the $255 for the plan review. The review will be completed within 10 business days if you choose to expedite.

There is an additional fee of $255 if you begin installing equipment or start construction on the space before your plan review.

You can pay with a money order or credit card. To pay online using a credit card, you will need an email, daytime phone number, invoice number, and the amount owed. Call (215) 685-7344 to learn more about paying with a credit card.


To apply for a body art establishment certificate, an establishment must submit:

  • A completed application for a body art establishment certificate.
  • For new establishments, a completed application for a body art plan review for new body art establishments.

The plan review includes:

  • An accurately scaled floor plan showing all areas and the location of all equipment.
  • Structural facility information.
  • Surface finish details.
  • Lighting information.
  • Ventilation information.
  • Water supply and liquid waste disposal information.
  • Refuse storage and disposal information.
  • Sanitary facilities information.
  • Equipment design and construction information.
  • Notifications and client record information.

All the artists working at a facility must have a blood-borne pathogens certificate and a body art artists certificate.

Before a new facility can open or a change of ownership can be completed, the Department of Public Health must inspect the facility.