How to Get a Tattoo License – Arizona

Arizona has very few restrictions when it comes to tattooing. However, this is likely to change in the next few years.

Arizona body art by tattoo artist

Some lawmakers have pushed to regulate every tattoo parlor and other "skin penetrating" business endeavors (like body piercing).

House Bill 2442 has been introduced, and it may change tattooing laws. But as of June 2022, this bill has not yet been passed.

Tattooing in Arizona: The Basics

Residents of Maricopa County: Tattoo establishments must register with the Business Registry.

While the state does not require it, you may need additional forms or documentation depending on your county. If your county has additional regulations, you can find them here.

Tattoo Training Options

Even though tattoo artists aren’t legally required to have training, you should still consider following regulations followed by most of the country (especially if you want to travel, go to conventions, etc.):

Take a bloodborne pathogens training course to protect yourself and clients from disease.

Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Even though tattoo artists aren’t legally required to have training, you should still consider following regulations followed by most of the country (especially if you want to travel, go to conventions, etc.):

  • Get vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

Tattoo Businesses in Arizona

Arizona's health services authorities have very few regulations in place when it comes to tattoo shops and other body art establishments.

You do not need a license or certification to engage in the practice of piercings, tattooing, branding, scarification, or other similar procedures.

That said, although body piercing and tattoo shops are not regulated on the state level, there are individual guidelines set forth by certain towns and counties in Arizona. All tattoo artists go through the Arizona State Board of Cosmetology.

If you are thinking of opening up your own body art establishment and want to hire tattoo artists - or you want to become an Arizona tattoo artist yourself - be sure to check with your county department of public health to see what requirements they have. Most of the time, in Arizona (unlike other states, like NC or OR) you do not need a license to work in an Arizona tattoo shop.

You'll also want to follow all statewide and countywide procedures for obtaining and maintaining business licenses. These are usually administered at the county level but in many cases are also governed by individual cities in Arizona.

In addition, you may want to consider taking a course in blood borne pathogens (like hepatitis infections) that can pose a risk any time the skin is penetrated with a needle. These courses are required by health services departments all around the country for individuals seeking business licenses as a tattoo parlor. 

You can find additional training options suggested by Arizona’s health department here.

Coconino County Regulations

Currently, Coconino County is the only location in Arizona that regulates the tattoo industry. 

All body art operators in Coconino County must obtain a business license and register their shop. Each tattoo artist must have a license and participate in an annual training course on bloodborne pathogens and how to prevent infections.

Note: This may change, as House Bill 2442 will require all Arizona tattoo parlor and body art professionals to follow tattooing sanitation guidelines. Each location would have to complete annual bloodborne pathogens training to obtain and maintain a license. Local health departments would also be required and allowed to inspect premises and investigate complaints of any Arizona tattoo parlor.

Things You Should Know About Arizona Tattoo Laws

Things You Should Know:

Arizona laws require that tattoo artists use sterilized needles while tattooing.  That's really the only Arizona tattoo law that applies statewide for all body art practitioners.

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 without the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian. That is regardless of the cost or location.

Things You Should Know:

Arizona laws require that tattoo artists use sterilized needles while tattooing.  That's really the only Arizona tattoo law that applies statewide for all body art practitioners.

It is illegal to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 without the physical presence of a parent or legal guardian. That is regardless of the cost or location.

Prepare for a Tattooing Career with the Artist Accelerator Program

examples of students own tattoo

Learning the steps you need to take to get licensed is an important step in your journey, but it can also be pretty eye-opening to how difficult tattooing can be. Without the right knowledge, it’s impossible to level up your skills and become a professional tattoo artist. 

However, finding the straight-forward information you need to progress is difficult. And with so much out there online, it’s hard to avoid picking up bad habits from incorrect and outdated resources.

This is one of the biggest struggles new tattooers face, and too many talented artists have given up their goal of getting into tattooing because of the years it would take to unlearn their bad habits. 

That’s why aspiring artists are learning to tattoo with the Artist Accelerator Program’s structured course. As a student, you learn every step of the tattooing process from professional artists with the experience and advice you need to build your skills and create incredible tattoos. 

With the Artist Accelerator, you can stop wasting time searching through incorrect information. You just get the clear, easy-to-understand lessons you need to start improving fast… along with support and personalized feedback from professional artists in our online Mastermind group.

Over 2500 students have already gone through the course, with many of them opening up their own studios. If you want to join them and learn the skills you need to start tattooing full time faster…

Click here to learn more about the Artist Accelerator Program.

Looking for a tattoo apprenticeship?

Tattooing 101's Artist Accelerator 90 day program is the closest thing to a real apprenticeship

  • 500 video modules
  • Professional tattoo artist coaches
  • Private mastermind community
AUTHOR
Nathan Molenaar

Nathan is a licensed professional tattoo artist with over 8 years’ experience working at studios across the globe, including Celebrity Ink, the world's largest tattoo studio chain. When he's not tattooing, he spends his free time sharing his experience and knowledge with aspiring artists who dream of pursuing a career in the tattooing industry.

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