Commercial Body Art


UPDATED 9/15/2020: Please note that under the terms of State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry's Emergency Order, all commercial body art facilities will be allowed to operate under Phase Two of Louisiana's reopening plan. Phase Two begins on June 5, 2020. The order includes specific requirements that all commercial body art facilities must adhere to at this time and until further notice. The order may be found here. The State Health Officer issued a clarification regarding microblading and other facial tattoos on June 4, and that document may be found here.

Specific prohibitions include the following activities:

  • Hand tattoos
  • Tongue piercings
  • Septum or other nasal piercings

Phase Two Restrictions outlined above remain in place at this time. The only changes pertaining to Phase Three are that facilities are now able to operate at 75% capacity. Additional information from the Opensafely website may be found here.

Commercial body art has been regulated in the state of Louisiana since 1999. Body art is defined by Part XXVIII of Title 51 of the Louisiana Administrative Code as "the practice of physical body adornment by registered establishments and operators utilizing, but not limited to, the following techniques: tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, body piercing, branding, and scarification". The definition does not include activities defined as medical procedures by a state medical board; commercial body art (CBA) facilities and operators are specifically prohibited from performing such procedures. Moreover, it does not include the use of a pre-sterilized single-use stud and clasp ear-piercing system to pierce the earlobe; thus, women's accessory stores and mall kiosks that perform ear piercing are not governed under this authority.

The LDH Food and Drug Unit regulates commercial body art under the authority given by Part XXVIII (cited above) and LSA R.S. 40: §2833 (primarily). Each facility engaging in tattooing, body-piercing, or other CBA activities is required to be permitted in accordance with these regulations and each person performing said tasks must be registered with the state.

To find the inspector who covers your parish, please click here.

You need to verify that the area you wish to operate your facility in is approved for commercial body art activity by the local zoning authority. Additionally you will need to submit certain documents for plans review prior to having your facility inspected. These are as follows:

    • A completed FD-1Ba Plans Review Questionnaire (this is the first document listed under Resources, below)
    • A copy of a current/recent water bill for the public water system for the location OR a negative coliform test demonstrating that the private water supply is potable
    • A copy of a recent negative spore test for the autoclave OR a certification letter signed and dated by the owner that only disposable equipment will be used for procedures at the facility
    • A copy of a contract with an approved red bag/sharps waste transporter OR a letter of agreement from a local medical facility with its own biohazardous waste incincerator allowing you to use its facilities 
    • A copy of your proposed firm's aftercare instructions for available procedures and blank consent forms/procedure record forms
    • For firms operating on private sewage treatment systems: a copy of the permit for said system issued by the local parish health unit and a pump-out and recertification if the unit is more than two years old


You will need the following additional items to give your inspector when he performs your preoperational inspection:

  • A completed FD-55 form for the facility
  • A completed FD-56 form for each operator or manager
  • A remittance in the form of a cashier's check or money order in the amount of $1,000 for the facility
  • A remittance in the form of a cashier's check or money order in the amount of $100 per operator for new registrations or $60 per operator for a renewal
  • Current-year training cards for each operator (Note that all training must be provided by approved trainers on the list below.)
  • A current state-issued photo ID for each operator (a driver's license or identification card issued by the Office of Motor Vehicles is preferred)


A note regarding the registration of microblading firms located within salons


UPDATED 5/11/18: On February 5, the Louisiana State Board of Cosmetology issued a ruling via a declaratory order that microblading is permitted in its licensed facilities as long as the activity takes place in a dedicated room with a door and it is performed by a department (LDH)-registered operator and under the auspices of an LDH registration (facility). 


Frequently Asked Questions

 If you are a prospective CBA facility owner or CBA operator (tattoo artist, piercer, et cetera), the following documents may be of use (all documents below are in Adobe Acrobat format; go to the Adobe Acrobat website to obtain Reader software if needed):