Health & Beauty Businesses


All personal care and body art businesses must be registered with Colac Otway Shire Council and follow regulations to help minimise health risks.

Under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 you must register the place of business (premises) where you provide personal care and body art services.

Personal care and body art businesses include:

  • Hairdressing
  • Temporary make-up
  • Beauty therapy treatments including: hair removal, manicures, pedicures, spray tans, microdermabrasion, eye lash extensions and facials
  • Colonic irrigation
  • Tattooing and cosmetic tattooing
  • Body and ear piercing
  • Skin penetration procedures including: dry needling, micro-blading, laser and electrolysis
  • Wet cupping
  • Colonic irrigation

Registration under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act and compliance with the relevant guidelines is arranged through our Health Protection Unit.


Registration Steps & Information

The registration process for hairdressers and make-up artists has been simplified. Now, any business trading solely with hairdressing or make-up services at their premises, can apply for an ongoing registration. However, for any hairdressing or make-up business offering additional services, such as body piercing, facials, waxing or tattooing, the annual registration applies.

Step 1

  1. You need to contact the council on (03) 5232 9400 and get in touch with relevant departments:
    • the planning department will determine whether you can  conduct business at the intended property
    • the building department if you’re intending to change the fit-out or make structural changes, and obtain requirements for staff and public toilets
    • the local laws department for permits to have small signs, street furniture and trade on Council land.

  2. If the property is in a sewered township, contact Barwon Water on 1300 656 007 for a trade waste agreement and grease trap requirements. 

  3. If the property is unsewered, you will need an onsite wastewater management system. If the anticipated waste water is above 5000L/day (averaged over a week) then you need to contact EPA Victoria on 1300 372 842. Otherwise, contact the Council’s environmental health team on (03) 5232 9400, or complete an application to install a septic tank system. If you are unsure of your anticipated waste, contact the Council’s Health Protection team.

Step 2

Application for Public Health & Wellbeing registration

The Council must determine whether your business will comply with the Public Health & Wellbeing Act and Regulations. To do this you must:

  1. Review all information about including, but not limited to:
    Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019
    Infection prevention and control requirements
    Beauty therapy – infection prevention and control
    Infection Control Guidelines

    Infection prevention and control guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries

  2. Complete the Council’s application to register a business which will be sent to you after an initial phone consultation. Companies and trusts will be required to provide a full ASIC business extract, showing directors and company office.

  3. Submit plans to the Council before starting any works. Failure to submit plans might result in Council refusing registration.

  4. Pay the required fee

  5. For skin penetration processes, you must organize Client information sheet. More information at Notices about scope of registration and client information sheets


Step 3

Assessment of premises

Contact the Council’s environmental health unit at least one week before the intended opening to arrange a final inspection. The inspecting officer will assess the premises for suitability to trade, looking for the following.

Certificate of Registration

Hang your Certificate in a prominent and easily visible space in the treatment room.



Frequently Asked Questions

Public Health Requirements

Infection prevention and control is important so that you do not transmit a disease or infection to yourself or your clients.

The Department of Health and Human Services publish infection prevention and control guidelines for hair, beauty, tattooing and skin penetration industries.

These guidelines help those involved in the healthy and beauty industries to comply with requirements in the:

  • Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 (the Act)
  • Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019

Visit the Victorian Department of Health website for Health guidelines for personal care and body art industries.


Approved notices and information sheets

The Public Health and Wellbeing Regulations 2019 require:

  • the display of a Department of Health and Human Services approved notice about the scope of registration.
  • Department of Health and Human Services approved information about the risks and safeguards associated with certain processes to be given to clients (tattooing, ear piercing, body piercing or other skin penetration processes).

Visit the Victorian Department of Health website to get more information on notices about scope of registration and client information sheets.

Exemptions from Registration

If your business is operated by and within the scope of practice of a registered health practitioner under the Health Practitioner Regulation National Law, you may not need to register with the local council.

Registered health practitioners listed below do not need to register their business. All other registered health practitioners, for example physiotherapist or osteopath, must register their business if undertaking skin penetration procedures.

Exempt health professionals

  • Dentists
  • Medical practitioner
  • Nurses or midwives
  • Podiatrists
  • Acupuncturists registered with the Chinese Medicine Board or other registered health practitioner endorsed by their National Board to practice as an acupuncturist
  • Pharmacists for the purposes of administering vaccines (not for other skin penetration practices, for example, ear piercing) 

The registering body for exempt professionals is the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA)  For further information please visit the AHPRA website.

Fees and Charges

All statutory and council fees and charges are annually included in the budget.

For all feed and charges, please visit the page Budget & Finances

Complaint or health concern?

If you want to make a complaint about a health or beauty business, please contact Health Protection Unit.


Submit your request for service online

Help us provide better services to the community by letting us know when there's an issue.

Use our new Submit a Request and Report a Concern forms to alert Council to your issue, or provide feedback.

Submit a Request

Please be descriptive and provide all details.


COVID19 Update

Information regarding restrictions can be found on the Coronavirus - Information for Beauty-Based Businesses page.

Operating any of the above businesses without obtaining registration from Council is an offence.

Council public health officers must inspect a new business before transfer of ownership or trading can start. Officers also carry out regular business inspections to ensure appropriate standards are maintained. Visit the Victorian Department of Health website for a list of these standards.

Information for businesses, including Government assistance can be found on the Coronavirus - Information for Business page



If you want further information on personal care and beauty businesses, contact the Council’s health protection team on (03) 5232 9400. For more information on starting a food business, visit the Starting a Business page of our website