On this page

  • Bylaws
  • Checklist for starting your business
  • Registering your business
  • Changes to your business
  • Transfer Ownership of an existing premises
  • Licence expired
  • Inspections
  • Tattooing, Skin Piercing and Beauty Shop
  • Mobile Traders
  • Buskers 


All people and businesses who wants to do tattoo, skin piercing (including acupuncture), some beauty shops and mobile traders must be registered and hold a licence granted by the Council. Licences are required to ensure that the equipment and spaces are appropriate and procedures and practices are in place.

  • The Health and Hygiene Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page), which sets out the standards for acupuncture, body piercing, electrolysis, and tattooing (including traditional and semi-permanent colouring).
  • The Environmental Health Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page) which includes mobile trading, the Central City alcohol ban, solvent abuse, untidy sections and abandoned vehicles.


Checklist for starting your business

All businesses selling food must hold a Certificate of Registration, also known as food licence and will need to find a verifier to get verified. Here is step by step checklist to help you with your journey.

Step 1: Check with the environmental health team and different council departments such as planning, building, trade waste and roading and/or parks (if applicable) to ensure compliance with the other legislative requirements.

Step 2: After checking with all relevant Council departments, think about how you would like to proceed by sorting out the procedures, equipment, spaces, staffs, finances and other to ensure you are ready to start and register your business.

Step 3: Register your business to get your licence by filling out the online form and submitting.

Step 4: Once you have registered, a pre-inspection will be conducted by an Environmental Health Officer to ensure compliance.

Step 5: If there are any issues, another site inspection may be conducted. If there are no issue, or if the issues have been completed, then you should now be free to operate.

You should now be fine after this and just let us know if there are any other changes in your operations, scopes or details by calling us or sending us an email.


Registering your business

If you want to open or take over one of the businesses that was mentioned above, you should contact us to be registered and inspected. For more information refer to Registering and changes to your business.


Changes to your business

You must notify the Environmental Health team about any changes in your business to ensure compliance with the legislations. This includes change of ownership, change of address, change of contact details, and change to the nature of the business or to processes in the Scope of Operations.


Transfer ownership of an existing premises

If you take over an existing business or premises (ones that needs a health or food licence), you must contact our Environmental Health team and reregister the premises under your name or company.


My licence is about to expire, what should I do?

When your registration certificate (licence) is about to expire (around the end of August each year), a reminder will be send to you to renew your licence. It’s really important that you have a current registration certificate at all times, since it could result with a late fee or a cancellation of your licence, so contact us if you have not received a renewal letter from us yet by August.



An Environmental Health Officer will inspect any premises with health licences and sites that causes nuisance. This is annually being conducted to ensure all premises are following the required legislation with fees included with the registration.


Licence and Certificate

All licence and certificate issued must always be displayed in a prominent area of the premises for the public to see.


Tattooing, Skin Piercing and Beauty Shop

Tattooing, skin piercing (including acupuncture) and some beauty shop (including premises who do electrolysis and semi-permanent skin colouring) businesses must be registered and inspected annually by an Environmental Health Officers under the Health and Hygiene Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page) to check for compliance.

Tattooist and skin piercers must register themselves as an individual. The licence to operate remains with you as an individual if you work in different premises. Beauty shops and low risk skin piercers (e.g. for ears only) must register their premises.

Before you start operating, it must be pre-inspected to ensure compliance with the said Bylaw. The operator must also check with the other Council department as mentioned above.  It is important that all businesses comply with any relative legislations which the Council can help so please feel free to give us a ring or email.

Infections can occur during procedures through the use of different equipment, some of which can accidentally pierce the skin. Blood and body fluids do not have to be visible on instruments or working surfaces for infection to be transmitted. This puts both clients and operators at risk.

Successful beauty therapists or shops, tattooists, skin piercing and beauty shop businesses will always have good operating practices and professionally competent staff members who make sure that they put the safety of their clients first. They provide a hygienic service in clean and pleasant premises.

Poor hygiene or unsafe procedures by operators where premises, furnishings and fittings are dirty or poorly maintained may lead to conditions that put at risk the health of both clients and operators.  Poor hygiene can also contribute to the spread of infectious disease, so ensure suitable equipment and spaces are used and proper procedures and practices are in place with appropriate disinfection processes to prevent and minimise infection and illnesses We can also provide guidance to both operators (including home based and mobile traders) and the general public on issues such as infection risks, decontamination of equipment, disinfectants, operator hygiene and cleanliness.


Mobile Traders

All businesses that operate in mobile trading which includes hawking or peddling and trading from a mobile or travelling shop must first obtain a mobile trading licence under the Environmental Health Bylaw (refer to the Bylaws page). You can register by filling out the forms and sending it to us and CC’ing roading team. This licence must be renewed annually to legally continue with trading.

Operators (if applicable) shall ensure that the vehicle is and/or have:

  • warranted and registered,
  • electrical certificate,
  • road user certificate,
  • LPG cylinder certificate (where this must be secured properly outside)
  • and/or public indemnity or liability insurance.

Before operating in any public space, you must check with the other departments until permission has been granted, so always with:

  • Parks and Reserves, including car parks and roads in Reserves, and Wachner Place except with permission from Council’s Parks Manager
  • Roading Manager – all roads including State Highways
  • Environmental Health – to ensure you are not operating in a restricted areas such as areas with premises who are selling similar product within 300 metres or places within 50 metres of any intersection or pedestrian crossing.

The licence is not transferable, so it must be re-registered if you are a new owner.

If you are operating in any place, you must be considerate by –

  • making sure that litter does not get left behind,
  • minimising obstruction as possible,
  • trading in appropriate hours,
  • and that it must not cause any nuisance.

Mobile shops must, at all times, be capable of being relocated immediately at any time upon the request of the Council, its authorised Officers or other law enforcement officers.

For the licence to be valid, all conditions and requirements, pursuant to the Invercargill City Council Environmental Health Bylaw 2017 must be fully complied with. Any breach without the permission of the Council or its authorised Officers may be held to invalidate and terminate the licence from the date of such breach.

The Council may, at any time, terminate or alter or vary the terms of this licence, for whatever reason, by notice in writing to the licensee at the address stated on the licence. The licensee shall not be entitled to any compensation should the Council use its powers to terminate or alter or vary the licence.


Failure to comply with the Bylaws

A person commits an offence under the said Bylaws if they breach or fails to comply with any of the following:

  • not complying with a requirement, standard, order,
  • obstruction of inspection,
  • not paying fees and charges,
  • or not being registered

These failures or breaches are offences which a person may be liable on conviction to a fine.

For more information refer to Environmental Health on the Bylaws page.



Please get in touch if you have any concerns or feedback about our service.   

Our environmental health team also investigate a range of matters relating to public health, including:

  • Unregistered premises,
  • industrial noise – businesses that causes noise contravenes the District Plan.
  • concerns about any premises, business or activities that was mentioned in this page.
  • complaints in regards to health nuisance, i.e. odour or pests related to the said premises, cleanliness or a premises, no ablutions, etc. 


Fees and Charges

Fees are charged for new and renewal of registration applications which must be paid before a current registration certificate will be issued.

Registration renewals happen every August annually and each will include an inspection. These will be invoiced automatically at the appropriate time.

Additional fees may be charged at any stage including revisits, complaints and how long these problems or ongoing matters of concern are addressed.

For a full list refer to Environmental Health on the Fees and Charges page.


Need help?

If you have any question, issue or concern, please do not hesitate to ask us. Contact the Environmental Health team on: