Apply for a permit to operate a body art establishment

Get a permit to own or operate a location offering tattoo, body piercing, or permanent cosmetics.

What to do

1. Register your business

Make sure you have registered your business with the Treasurer & Tax Collector.

2. Complete the application packet

3. Pay the application fee

Write a check or money order for the application fee to the SF Department of Public Health.

4. Include a list of your practitioners' information

All body art practitioners need a license to practice body art. They need to apply for a body art practitioner permit if they do not have a permit yet.

For each body art practitioner, provide their:

  • Full name
  • Registration number so we can confirm they have a license to practice in San Francisco

5. Gather additional documents

  • Tattoo Consent Form with your business name and address on it
  • Tattoo After Care Instructions
  • A floor plan or layout for existing tattoo establishments. This can be drawn by hand.

6. Submit your application materials

Deliver your materials in person or by mail to:

Department of Public Health

Environmental Health Branch
Tattoo, Body Piercing and Permanent Cosmetics
49 South Van Ness Ave., Suite 600
San Francisco, CA 94103
View location on google maps

What to expect

  1. After we process your application, we will email you a temporary permit.
  2. You will get a bill from the Tax Collector.
  3. Once you pay the annual license fee, the Tax Collector will send you your annual license by mail.
  4. We will mail you a permit to operate.

You will need to renew your license and pay the annual license fee each year. The Tax Collector will mail you your renewal bill. If you move, make sure to update your mailing address.

Last updated April 16, 2024