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Body Piercing Facilities: Step by Step Guide

Before you can open a body piercing facility in South Carolina, you must get a business license and zoning approval from the municipality (city, town or county government) that has jurisdiction over your business location.

You must get also get a permit to operate from DHEC. (If your facility pierces only the ear lobe (pdf)   — the lower part of the ear that contains no cartilage — you are exempt from this requirement.)

Here are the steps you must follow to get a DHEC permit to operate:

Step 1: Review S.C. Regulations (90 Days before opening)

Review a copy of Regulation 61-109, Standards for Permitting Body Piercing Facilities on this website OR order a printed copy of the regulation for a $10 fee.(Payment must be by personal check or money order to DHEC; no cash or credit cards can be accepted.)

Step 2: Get Your Staff Trained, Certified (60-90 days before opening)

To comply with Section 103.E of Regulation 61-109, ensure that all your technicians:

  • Comply with all federal Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements/guidelines
  • Obtain certificates from DHEC-approved training providers that attest to the successful completion of courses in:
    • Bloodborne pathogens
    • Body piercing infection control as approved by DHEC
    • American Red Cross First Aid
    • Adult cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
    See more about state training requirements and view a list of approved training providers in S.C.

Step 3: Submit Required Permit Application, Documents and Fees:  (60-30 days before opening)

Submit the permit application, required documentation and fees listed below at least 30 days prior to your facility's anticipated/projected opening date and preferably sooner. This will allow DHEC staff adequate time to carefully review your application and request any additional or amended information that may be required.

  • Permitting Fees — $300, plus an additional $175 inspection fee  (Make checks or money order payable to S.C. DHEC)
  • Completed and notarized application form
  • Proof of ownership or rental/lease agreement
  • Articles of Incorporation/Partnership agreement
  • Business license/zoning letter from your local municipality
  • A signed acknowledgment form to say you have reviewed a copy of Regulation 61-109.

    Mail to:
    S.C. DHEC
    Division of Health Licensing
    2600 Bull Street
    Columbia, SC 29201

    Have questions about what to send? Feel free to call us at (803) 545-4370.

Step 4: Schedule Permit Inspection

Once you have submitted all the required documents (including policies and procedures and technician files) and met all other requirements in the regulation, contact your regional DHEC representative to arrange for a mutually-agreed-upon date for an initial permitting inspection.

Get tips on preparing for your inspection.

Step 5: Get a Permit; Open for Business

Once we determine that your paperwork and facility are in substantial compliance with Regulation 61-109 and we inspect your facility, we’ll grant you permission to operate and issue you a permit.

You must post your permit in your facility in an area easily seen by your customers.

Note: If you are an owner of a facility/activity currently licensed/permitted by DHEC, the currently-licensed/permitted facility/activity must be in substantial compliance with applicable regulatory standards before we can issue a permit for a separate facility/activity.

Step 6: Renew Your Permit Each Year

Permits are effective for a 12-month period following the date of issue.

You must renew your permit every year.

Learn what’s involved in renewing your permit.