Health Department

Food, Lodging & Pools
Public Service Center
250 S. 4th St., Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Body Art Establishments

Body art establishments are businesses that provide Body Art procedures such as tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, and piercing. Procedures that are not governed by the Minneapolis Body Art Code are piercings of the outer perimeter or lobe of the ear. Branding, implantation, suspension and scarification are prohibited in Minneapolis under the Code.


Body Art establishments are required to be licensed in the City of Minneapolis. Body Art establishments must obtain a license through Business Licensing. Individual technicians are required to be licensed through the State of Minnesota. City of Minneapolis does not license individual technicians but does require each individual to show proof of state licensure and to follow all Minneapolis regulations when practicing within the City of Minneapolis.

For Temporary Body Art Event information, please visit our Civic Events page.

Body Art establishments are inspected yearly under the Minneapolis City Ordinance, Chapter 339: Body Art Code. The business licensee is responsible for ensuring compliance with State and City regulations within their facility.

Any concerns about a body art establishment can be reported online to the Minneapolis Health Department.

Tattoo artists and consumers warned of tattoo ink recall

The FDA is alerting tattoo artists and consumers that they should not use tattoo inks marketed and distributed by A Thousand Virgins in grey wash shades labeled G1, G2, and G3 (Lot #129, expires 1/16). The recalled ink was sold in kits in two ounce and four ounce bottles. These tattoo inks were distributed nationwide and may be available for sale from international and online distributors.

The tattoo inks are being recalled due to microbiological contamination. Use of these products may cause bacterial infection and can lead to sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.

A Thousand Virgins recalled the tattoo inks on August 4, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is concerned that artists and consumers are continuing to use these contaminated inks from their current stock.

Consumers with any questions should contact the FDA at 1-866-829-4659 from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am to 5pm Eastern Standard Time. 

For more information, visit the FDA website here. (

Body Art Events

There are two types of temporary Body Art events:

All participating body artists must be licensed or permitted by the State of Minnesota prior to the event and must show proof of license or permit to the Minneapolis Food, Lodging & Pools program.

Tattooing - Body Piercing Establishment License Application

Tattooing - Body Piercing Establishment, Temporary Event License Application

The event sponsor must obtain a "Sponsor of Temporary Tattooing/Piercing Event" license and assumes responsibility in ensuring that the event is in compliance and that the participating artists have obtained proper licensure and will be operating within the regulations and event guidelines.

Last updated Sep 25, 2015