Body piercing, electrolysis, hair and nail salon and tattoo parlour

Businesses that provide personal services that could pierce the skin are required to obtain a "Personal Service Settings" licence.

Different types of personal service activities include:

  • Aesthetics - beautifying, cleaning, stimulating, hydrating or waxing the skin through the use of cleansers, antiseptics, lotions, exfoliants, masques, essential oils and hair removal waxes
  • Body piercing - piercing the skin with a needle, ear-piercing device to insert jewellery
  • Electrolysis - removing hair through an electric current conducted through a needle  inserted into a hair follicle
  • Hairstyling - cutting, shaving, styling or hair colouring, including facial hair
  • Manicure and pedicures - cosmetic treatment of nails and skin on hands and feet; and
  • Tattoo and micropigmentation - depositing pigments below the skin with needles


What you need to apply 

Who can apply Individuals, partnerships or corporations.
How to apply

Applicants can apply in person at the Licence & Permit Issuing Office at East York Civic Centre, 850 Coxwell, 3rd floor.

Partnerships and corporations (not applicable to individuals)

Applicants must provide a business address, as well as other documents depending on the business. Documents may include articles of incorporation, corporate profiles, franchise agreements, partnership agreements and provincial name registration.

Application fee * $355.35

View all business, trades, and profession application and renewal fees.

Two pieces of government-issued identification, including:

  1. proof of work status, such as a Canadian Passport or Citizenship Card, Permanent Resident Card, Work Permit, Canadian Birth Certificate; and
  2. a valid photo ID such as a Driver's Licence, Photo Identification Card, Canadian Passport.

Note that Health Cards are not accepted.

Criminal reference checks   Applicants must provide a criminal reference check issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.  Learn more here.
Public Health Inspection

Proof of a Health Inspection from Toronto Public Health.  You can arrange this by calling 311 Toronto or the Health Connection Line at 416-338-7600. 

Visit www.toronto.ca/bodysafe for more information.

Insurance requirements

Where electrolysis, body piercing, micropigmentation, or tattooing is provided, a Commercial General Liability insurance policy of at least $1,000,000 is required.  

The policy must cover loss or damage resulting from bodily injury to, or the death of, one or more persons, or from loss or damage to property resulting from any one accident.

We are only able to accept

  • Orginal completed forms that are signed and stamped by the insurer; or
  • Faxes and emails (of completed forms that are signed and stamped by the insurer) directly from the insurer.

Our fax number is (416) 392 4515 and email address is mlsbusinesslicence@toronto.ca


A certification of qualification is required for hair salons applications if applicant is an individual who will be working as a hairstylist.

What happens after you apply

Where other division approvals are necessary for a licence or permit to be granted, Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) staff will initiate the approval process once an application is received, and applicants are not required to take any further actions at this stage.   

See the table below for the list of approvals ML&S will seek.

Who City staff will contact What they will request
Toronto Building

Zoning approval is required for the majority of new business licence applications. For those businesses in which zoning approval is required, ML&S staff will initiate the approval process after the application is received. Learn more about zoning.

Zoning approval is not required if an applicant it taking over an existing business that has a valid business licence or is expired less than one year prior. A signed lease agreement or proof or property ownership is required.

* If the licence or permit is granted, licensees and/or permit holders will be required to pay an annual renewal fee, listed in the Fees table. 

For complete application and operating requirements, visit Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545, Licensing.

Applicants are subject to the Business Licensing Thresholds in Appendix K.

Back to: Fees