Massage and special treatments licences

Licence summary

If you run an establishment for "special treatments" you may require a licence. The following treatments currently fall under the scope of massage and special treatment licensing:

  • massage treatments, aromatherapy and reflexology
  • manicure and nail treatments
  • acupuncture
  • tattooing
  • cosmetic piercing
  • UV light treatments, eg sunbeds
  • body piercing
  • chiropody
  • electrolysis
  • facial treatments
  • saunas and steam rooms
  • spa pools
  • waxing.
  • lasers/IPL

Applications should be made to your local authority and there will be a fee. You must provide any requested information in your application.

Exemptions

A number of organisations do not require a licence. In certain circumstances the council may grant an exemption to a business or individual therapist from the requirement to have a licence when the therapists or practitioners are members of specific professional bodies. Please see the list of exempted bodies(pdf, 35KB) and exemption application form(pdf, 32KB).

Eligibility criteria

You may download an A - Z list of beauty treatments(pdf, 408KB) which require a licence.here. Licences will be subject to conditions.  Your application may be refused for one of the following reasons:

  • the premises are not suitable;
  • thtere is a likelihood of nuisance being caused in the area;
  • the person who will manage the premises is not fit and proper;
  • the people giving the treatments are not suitably qualified;
  • the safety of equipment is not sastisfactory;
  • there is a question as to the safety of the treatment being given;
  • you have been convicted of particular offences;
  • you fail to comply with any legal requirements.

Legislation summary

To view the London Local Authorities Act 1991 and 2000 please use the links here.

More licence conditions

Landlord permission

  • If you are a tenant, you may need to tell your landlord before you practice special treatments in domestic premises;
  • If you are a council tenant you will need a letter from Richmond Housing Partnership agreeing to the use of the premises.

Police and Fire Authority notification

  • As part of the licensing procedure we will send copies of the application form to the Police and the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA) for their comments.  Any comments made will be taken into consideration when processing the application;
  • The LFEPA require the following, which must be sent with the application form to the borough council:
    • a drawing of the premises showing all fire exits, fire fighting equipment and travel distances;
  • These authorities have 21 days to make their comments, after which we will notify you of any items that may require attention.

Planning Permission

  • You will need to check with the Planning Department to confirm whether planning consent or permission is required;
  • In certain circumstances, (especially when we are considering licensing domestic premises) you will need confirmation from the Planning Department that planning permission is not required.

Standards of the premises

The premises must meet certain standards.

  • Officers of the council will visit the premises and carry out an inspection for Health & Safety and Hygiene.
  • The LFEPA and possibly the police will need to visit to check that you are meeting the required standards;
  • If the premises do not meet requirements, you may have to put matters right before your licence can be issued.

How to apply

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Post

Once completed send them to the licensing team at licensing@richmond.gov.uk together with a copy of the relevant qualifications of each therapist who carries out treatments at the premises. Guidance on making an application is available to download:

Additional Information

A copy of the completed form should be sent to the Police and Fire Authorities whose addresses are on the front of the form.

The Fire Authority have also requested that a completed fire risk assessment and basic plan of the premises should accompany the application.

Please see the fees page for details of the cost of the licence.

Application evaluation process

Once your application is received, a licensing officer will contact you to make arrangements to carry out an inspection of your premises.

The inspection will be to ensure that the premises meet the standards in the licensing conditions. Download the conditions(pdf, 119KB).

Will tacit consent apply?

No. Your licence will only be issued to you when all the necessary inspections/checks have been carried out and the premises meets the required standards.

The licence may also list site specific conditions.

Renewal of a licence

If you already hold a licence and it is due for renewal you can pay for it online by using the apply online link.

Alternatively you may make payment by debit or credit card by telephoning 020 8831 6455.

Failed application redress

  • The Police and Fire Authority, have the right to raise objections to an application for a licence;
  • The council must consider any objections made within the period allowed for the receipt of objections;
  • Where the Council receives an objection, it does not automatically mean that it will refuse to grant the licence. On receipt of an objection, the Council will notify you of the reason for the objection and ask for your comments. Where possible, the Council will attempt to resolve any objections by a form of conciliation. If this is not possible, then in most cases the application will be determined by a meeting of the Licensing Panel;
  • Where the Council receives an objection, it will not refuse to grant a without the applicant having an opportunity to present a case before the Licensing Panel. Should the application reach this stage, the applicant will receive full details and explanations of all procedures.

An application may be refused on the grounds listed in Section 8 of the London Local authorities Act 1991:

  • You fail to pay the licence fee, fail to supply the council with any information or documents that may be required;
  • The decision whether or not to refuse an application is taken by the inspecting officer.

Licences will be subject to conditions. Your application may be refused on the grounds listed in Section 8 of the London Local authorities Act 1991, namely:

  • the premises are not suitable, e.g. they are not structurally suitable; do not have safe heating; the lighting, sanitation, ventilation are unsatisfactory;
  • the premise does not have adequate fire precautions including fire fighting equipment and fire escapes;
  • the safety of the treatment is not satisfactory;
  • there is a likelihood of nuisance being caused in the area;
  • the person who will manage the premises is not a fit and proper person;
  • the people giving the treatments are not suitably qualified;
  • the safety of equipment is not satisfactory;
  • there is question as to the safety of the treatment being given;
  • you have been convicted of a particular offence  within the last five years;
  • you fail to comply with any legal requirements.

Any person who is refused a licence can appeal to Richmond Magistrates Court.

Licence holder redress

Any licence holder who objects to any of the licensing conditions attached to a licence may appeal to Richmond Magistrates Court.

Consumer complaint

We would always advise int he first instance that in the event of a complaint, you make contact with the trader, if you are not satisfied with their response please contact the licensing team on the details below.

Other redress

Please contact the licensing team.

Trade associations

Contact the Licensing Team

If you have any questions or comments please contact Licensing

Licensing

2nd Floor
Civic Centre
44 York Street
Twickenham
TW1 3BZ

Telephone: 020 8831 6455
Fax: 020 8891 7713
Email: licensing@richmond.gov.uk

Updated: 16 May 2017