Guidance on setting up a business for microblading

When do I need a licence?

If you are considering setting up a business for microblading in a premises in the London Borough of Bexley (even your own residential home), you will need a special treatment licence. 

What if I want to provide microblading to customers in their own homes within the London Borough of Bexley?

If you treat people in their own homes, in other words, you are a mobile practitioner, this is outside the scope of the legislation and you do not need to apply. This guidance applies to all London Boroughs, but not neighbouring Boroughs, such as Dartford and Sevenoaks and you will need to contact each Local Authority to find out what their requirements are.

How do I apply?

An application form for the grant of a special treatment licence needs to be completed. This application must be completed correctly and fully. In addition, the appropriate fee must be paid in full before it is considered a valid application. 

Information and application forms are available at Licensing under the heading 'special treatment premises licence'.

Once valid the Council has 28 days to consider your application and will contact statutory consultees for comments. 

What is the fee?

Microblading is classified as a category B special treatment and the fees can be accessed at Fees and charges (Licences), under the heading 'Special treatments'.

These fees are reviewed annually so always check you are looking at the most up to date fees.

Before you apply consider the following:

Competition

There are a large number of people considering doing microblading at present, and it may not generate the level of income you have been led to believe.

This is particularly important as it is costly to set up a treatment room for microblading from scratch. Please do your research carefully of other people who may be offering this locally.

Do I need planning permission?

You may need planning permission (even for your residential property) and you should seek advice from the London Borough of Bexley planning department prior to any investment being undertaken. They can be contacted by telephone on 020 3045 5912.

What qualification do I need?

There are many courses on offer at present for microblading, however, the only qualifications that will be accepted by the London Borough of Bexley to carry out this licensable treatment are as follows:

  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Microblading Techniques
  • VTCT Level 4 Certificate in Enhancing Eyebrows with Microblading Techniques
  • any other Level 4 (NVQ) Certificate in Microblading provided it is listed on the Ofqual website as a regulated course

What will I need in the treatment room?

Find the conditions applicable for special treatments on the Ofqual website. You will need to meet all the conditions in Parts I, II and the relevant sections of the specific tattooing conditions in part III, MST 4. These conditions are reviewed from time to time, so again please check that you are looking at the most up to date version.

In particular, consider this process as akin to surgery, so infection control is of paramount importance and the following will be needed (this list is not exhaustive but highlights some of the requirements):

  • internal walls, doors, windows, partitions, floors or floor coverings, ceilings, heating, lighting and ventilation, in all parts of the premises used by the client and operator must be constructed of smooth impervious materials which are easy to clean and must be maintained in good repair and condition - NB: bare exposed timber and lapped timber is not acceptable
  • all equipment, fittings and furniture must be smooth, impervious and easy to clean
  • you must have a wash hand basin within the treatment room with a supply of hot and cold water (or mixed tap), anti-bacterial soap and suitable hand drying facilities - NB: portable wash hand basins are only accepted in exceptional circumstances and can only be of a particular type, so this must be discussed with the Licensing Officer, Jenny Seal before you go ahead with any works
  • lighting must be adequate for cleaning and treatment
  • there must be adequate ventilation

Other requirements include for example:

  • the treatment room must be warm enough for the comfort of the client
  • you will need access to a suitable toilet
  • you must have a current electrical installation certificate
  • you will need any portable electrical equipment PAT testing (unless purchased within the last 12 months)
  • you may need a gas safety certificate

What about the microblading tool?

The whole tool must be single-use and disposable, not just the blade/needles. The type of tool in the image below, will not be accepted within the London Borough of Bexley for microblading as disinfection is not sufficient and most microblading practitioners do not have access to any means to achieve sterilisation, such as an autoclave.

Image of Dual head microblading tool

What about waste?

  • a clinical waste contract will be required for safe disposal of all sharps. Consider your costs as disposing of the whole tool will fill up a sharps container faster than it just being the blade/needles
  • offensive waste generated must be disposed of safely (see full conditions)

Can I use anaesthetics?

  • prescription-only medicines (POMs) cannot be administered by you as the practitioner
  • all injectable anaesthetics are classified as POMs and therefore no anaesthetic injections must be administered by you
  • the use of TAG45 or other such products which are not licensed for use in the UK is prohibited
  • the use of A.C.Tfast or other similar products containing epinephrine or adrenalin is prohibited
  • other topical pharmacy only (P medicines) anaesthetics must not be obtained and applied by you as the practitioner. Such products may be obtained and applied by the client, and the client must be advised to read the full instructions and contra-indications prior to use
  • topical anaesthetics that advise that the product must not be used on broken skin must not be applied part way through a procedure

Whatever training you may have been given, these are the requirements and breaching the conditions is an offence.

Are there any age restrictions?

Microblading is regarded the same as tattooing, therefore microblading must not be carried out on a client under the age of 18 years. This is prohibited under the Tattooing of Minors Act 1969, and you could be prosecuted if you carry out this treatment on an underage client, even if you have consent from an adult/parent/legal guardian. A policy of 'Challenge 25' is operated in this Borough, and more details can be provided on this if you go ahead.

Should you have any further queries once you have read this guidance please contact jenny.seal@bexley.gov.uk