A Master licence granted under the Tattoo Industry Act 2012 (the Act) allows you to carry on a body art tattooing business at a specified premises.

A separate Master licence is required for each premises at which you carry on a body art tattooing business.

Am I eligible for a Master licence?

To be granted a Master licence under the Act you must satisfy all eligibility requirements including:

  • be an individual and at least 18 years of age
  • be an Australian citizen or permanent Australian resident (includes New Zealand citizens)
  • be a fit and proper person to be granted a licence (includes close associates)
  • not be a controlled member of a declared organisation under the Crimes (Criminal Organisations Control) Act 2012
  • not be a member of a prescribed criminal organisation or have been a member in the previous 12 months
  • not have been convicted of a disqualifying offence in the past 10 years.

Your application will also be refused if:

  • it is incomplete
  • it would be contrary to the public interest to grant you a licence.

How do I apply?

Apply for a Master licence here.

You will need:

  • a MyServiceNSW Account in the name of your licence application
  • copies of two types of acceptable identification documents
  • a Nomination of Premises Manager form (PDF) (if applicable)
  • a separate Close Associate Consent form (PDF) completed by each close associate (if applicable) accompanied by three acceptable forms of identification for each close associate
  • details of all employees and contractors
  • your application fee.

If you cannot apply online, please contact SLED on 1300 362 001.

Once your application has been submitted and processed SLED will contact you with instructions to visit a NSW police station to have your finger/palmprints taken, or to request further information to be provided to support your application.

Note: you don’t have to provide your fingerprints if previously provided for a NSW security, CAPI or tattoo licence.

Once you receive your fingerprint letter you have 42 days to have your fingerprints taken.

You will receive your Master licence card and a Licensing Information Certificate in the post once your application has been granted.

Master licensees will also be issued a Licence Information Certificate that must be conspicuously displayed at the licensed premises.

How do I renew a tattoo Master licence

You will be sent a Master Licence Renewal/Restoration Application form to your recorded email address about 60 days before the licence expiry date.

You must fill out the form and post it to SLED with your payment details. SLED must receive the form and any accompanying documents on or before the expiry date. If your licence expires, you will no longer be authorised to carry on a body art tattooing business at the premises.

If your licence expires you may apply to restore the licence using the Master Licence Renewal/Restoration Application form.  Applications to restore a Master licence must be received at SLED within three months of the licence expiry date. If your licence was surrendered or cancelled, it cannot be restored.

Master Licence Renewal/Restoration Application forms must be posted to:

Security Licensing & Enforcement Directorate
Locked Bag 5099
Parramatta NSW 2124


Application typeFee
Master licence 1 year$2,228
Master licence 3 years$2,707
Master licence 5 years$3,182
Renew Master licence 1 year$2,180
Renew Master licence 3 years$2,659
Renew Master licence 5 years$3,134
Restore Master licence 1 year$2,204
Restore Master licence 3 years$2,683
Restore Master licence 5 years$3,158
Replacement Master licence $55

Click here for a full list of tattoo licence fees (PDF).

What is a premises manager?

A premises manager is an individual nominated by a corporation, partners or trustees for the purpose of carrying on a body art tattooing business at a premises.

A Master licence may only be granted to an individual. A Nomination of Premises Manager form (PDF) must accompany Master licence applications made in connection with a body art tattooing business that is owned or operated by or on behalf of a corporation, partnership or trust.

The Master licence is granted to the premises manager.

What is a close associate?

A close associate is a person who:

  • holds or will hold any Relevant Financial Interest in the business
  • is, or will be, entitled to exercise any Relevant Power in the business
  • by virtue of that Relevant Financial Interest or Relevant Power, is, or will be, able to exercise significant influence in respect to the conduct of that business
  • is, or will be, engaged as a contractor or employed in the business that is or will be carried on under the authority of the licence (including as a tattooist)

“Relevant Financial Interest”: any share in the capital of the business; any entitlement to receive any income or other financial benefit from the business; any entitlement to receive any rent, profit or other income in connection with the use or occupation of premises at which the business is or is to be carried on(e.g. an entitlement of the owner of the premises at which the business is carried on to receive rent as lessor of the premises).

“Relevant Power”:  any power (by voting or otherwise) to:

  • participate in any directorial, managerial or executive decision, or
  • elect or appoint any person to any relevant position.

“Relevant Position”:  this refers to the positions of director, secretary or manager or any other executive positions.

NOTE: The above information is set out as a guide only. The definition of the term “close associate” is fully set out in section 4 of the Tattoo Industry Act 2012.

Each Master licence application must include a Close Associate Consent form (PDF) and three forms of acceptable identification for each close associate (if applicable)

Reporting changes to close associates a(including employees and contractors)

Master licensees must notify SLED of changes to close associates (including all tattooists and other staff members and contractors) within 14 business days of the change.

Master licensees must notify the change using the P1247 Application to Amend or Replace a Tattoo Industry Licence form.  If adding a close associate, a separate P1243 Close Associate Consent Form completed by the individual must accompany the application.

Three forms of acceptable identification for each new close associate must also be provided (except for holders of a current NSW Tattooist licence).

Licence suspension and revocation

A Master licence may be suspended if there are grounds to cancel a licence. You will receive a written notice notifying you of the suspension and have 14 business days to provide written reasons why your licence should not be cancelled.

A licence may be cancelled if:

  • you fail to provide information or records as directed by an authorised officer
  • an adverse security determination is made in relation to your licence
  • you have breached the legislation or conditions imposed on your licence.

The cancellation of a licence takes effect when the notice is served, or from a later date as specified in the notice.

Reporting changes to staff members and close associates

Master licensees must notify SLED of changes to staff members working at a licensed premises within 20 business days after the change using the P1247 Amend or Replace a Tattoo Industry Licence form (PDF) available on the SLED website.

Master licensees must also notify SLED of changes to close associates of the licensee within 14 business days after the change using the P1247 Amend or Replace a Tattoo Industry Licence form (PDF).