This section provides information on the issuing of commercial licences for personal appearance services.

What does Council licence?

Only higher-risk personal appearance services (HRPAS) activities require a licence with Council. These activities include tattooing (both body art and cosmetic) and body piercing.

Low-risk activities (such as hairdressing) do not require a licence.

Prior to applying for a licence with Ipswich City Council, you must ensure you have the appropriate approvals in place for your business. For information on any approvals you might need, including development, planning and design approvals, and to apply for the licence, follow the stages below.


Stage One: Approvals needed prior to licencing

Before applying for a licence, you must ensure you obtain all relevant approvals. A licence does not constitute approval for any other aspects of your operation.

Prior to starting any business for high-risk personal appearance services you must check with Council's Planning and Regulatory Services to ensure that the land/property where the business is based is suitable for your intended use.

If your business involves new or altered structures, you may also require building and/or plumbing approval.

For more information visit Ipswich Planning, contact by email or phone (07) 3810 6888.

Development Approval

Council’s Planning Scheme guides how land can be used and developed, including the suitability of a location for a business or different business types.

Personal appearance service businesses may need planning approval for these activities:

  • starting a new personal appearance service business
  • changing the type of activity (e.g. from office space to tattooist)
  • re-establishing a personal appearance service business that was abandoned
  • changing the scale or intensity of an existing business (e.g. increasing the number of chairs or expanding into the next unit)
  • carrying out building work (e.g. fit-out of the salon)
  • carrying out plumbing or drainage work.

To find out if you need to submit a development application for a personal appearance service business, you can:

Building Approval

Building approval may be required for work that could include:

  • fitting out a new salon
  • installing a new procedure room
  • refurbishing an existing salon.

All building work is assessed against the building assessment provisions (including, but not limited to, the National Construction Code and the Queensland Development Code) which set the minimum requirements for building structure, fire safety, access and egress, health and amenity, and energy efficiency.

To find out if you need building approval, you can:

Plumbing Approval

Personal appearance services may need plumbing and drainage approval for the following activities:

  • installation of sinks (portable sinks are not accepted, all sinks must be connected to fixed pipework)
  • release of trade waste to sewer
  • installation and maintenance of backflow prevention devices
  • use of non-reticulated water supply (tank water).

Plumbing and drainage work should be conducted by a licensed plumber. Contact Council or Queensland Urban Utilities for more information.


Stage Two: Assessment and Building Fit-out

Once you have satisfied any development, building and plumbing approvals, you must seek design approval and commence building fit-out.

Step 1 – Design assessment

  • Plans will need to be drawn up and submitted with your assessment.
  • Complete the Plan assessment/design requirements sections of the Personal Appearance Services Licence Application.
  • Ensure you include two A3 size copies of the design plan with your assessment application.
  • An application fee applies. For details view Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule and search ‘Higher Risk Personal Appearance Service’.
  • Submit your application:
    • Email: plandev@ipswich.qld.gov.au (pdf format of form and plan/s only)
    • Post: PO Box 191, Ipswich Qld 4305
    • In person:  Planning and Regulatory Services, Ground Floor, 45 Roderick Street, Ipswich.

Step 2 – Building fit-out

  • Fit out your premises in accordance with the approval given by Council.
  • Please read both the approved plans and approval conditions carefully when you receive them and carry out your fit-out including any changes that may be required. A final inspection will be conducted to ensure the premises has been constructed in accordance with the design approval. The premises must pass this inspection for the HRPAS Licence to be issued. If additional inspections are required then further inspection fees apply. For details view Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule and search ‘Higher Risk Personal Appearance Service’.
  • About 10 days prior to completing the fit-out of the premises, start your application for a Personal Appearances Services Licence.

Stage Three: Applying for a Licence

  • Complete the New licence sections of the Personal Appearance Services Licence Application Form
  • In order to issue a Higher-risk Personal Appearance Services (HRPAS) Licence, you must nominate a person with suitable qualifications on the application. A certified copy (signed by a Justice of the Peace) of the relevant Statement of Attainment must accompany the completed licence application.
  • An application fee applies. For details view Council’s Fees and Charges Schedule and search ‘Higher Risk Personal Appearance Service’.
  • Submit your application:
    • Email: plandev@ipswich.qld.gov.au (pdf format of form and qualifications only)
    • Post: PO Box 191, Ipswich Qld 4305
    • In person:  Planning and Regulatory Services, Ground Floor, 45 Roderick Street, Ipswich.

How is my design approval and licence application managed?

Council will assess and respond to your assessment and application within 40 business days from the date of submission. If you require development approval, this assessment will not commence until you have notified council of the development approval.

Once your application has been assessed and if approved, you will be issued a licence. It will be emailed or mailed to you and you must display the licence, or a copy of the licence, at each related business so that it is easily visible to a person as they enter the premises.


Licence renewal, amendment, replacement or transfer

Licence renewal

  • Licence must be renewed each financial year. Council will send out a renewal notice approximately 4 weeks prior to renewal each year. A new licence will be mailed to you and you will need to ensure this is displayed.

Amendment to current licence

Replacement licence

  • If you require a copy of your licence, please contact the Customer Service Centre on (07) 3810 6666.

Transfer of Licence