How to Get a Tattoo License – Ohio

You do not need a state license to become a tattoo artist in Ohio. However, there are still some standards you will need to meet to tattoo legally in a shop. 

In this article, we’ll break down:

  • What the requirements you must meet
  • Where to get the paperwork you need
  • Where to learn more about your county regulations

Local Health Department Rules for Body Art Facilities

Individuals do not need a state license to tattoo in Ohio. However, most counties will have individual permits with their own rules (some require apprenticeships and/or fees). Contact your local department of health here.

However, according to the Ohio Administrative Code, each employee of a licensed body piercing or body art facility must receive training in sterilization, first aid, CPR, and bloodborne pathogens.

Here is a brief overview of the proper training required for tattoo artists to complete. You can find specific training for your local health department here.

Blood Borne Pathogens Training

Bloodborne pathogens are microorganisms that are present in blood and can cause disease in humans. These diseases can be spread through contact with contaminated blood, and they can pose a serious threat to tattoo artists and their clients.

Bloodborne pathogens training is designed to educate tattoo artists about the dangers of these diseases and how to protect themselves and their clients from them.

The training covers a variety of topics, including how to safely handle and dispose of contaminated needles, how to clean and disinfect equipment, and how to avoid exposure to blood. By completing bloodborne pathogens training, tattoo artists can help reduce the risk of transmission of these diseases.


It’s highly recommended that tattoo artists get vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

First Aid and CPR for Body Artists

First aid and CPR for body artists training is designed to provide tattoo artists with the skills and knowledge necessary to safely and effectively respond to medical emergencies. The course covers a variety of topics, including how to assess a situation, provide basic life support, and use personal protective equipment.

In addition, the course covers First Aid and CPR techniques specifically for tattoo artists. The goal of the course is to help tattoo artists be prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a medical emergency.

Sterilization for the Prevention of Disease Transmission

Tattoo artists must take great care to avoid transmitting diseases to their clients. One of the most important ways to do this is through sterilization.

This training will teach them how to correctly clean and sterilize their equipment, as well as how to maintain a clean work environment. By taking this training, tattoo artists can help protect their clients from potentially deadly diseases.

Some Counties Require Tattoo Training

Depending on your county, you might be required to go through a tattoo training program or apprenticeship. 

Regulations for Tattooing Parlors and Body Piercing Shops

Requirements for body art facilities vary depending on where the tattoo parlors are located and what sorts of services they provide.

However, under state law, all facilities that engage in procedures like tattoo, body piercing, and other styles of body art must have a working hand sink with both hot and cold water. There must be a smooth (non-porous), washable floor.

Applicants who are interested in having their facilities licensed to operate should contact their county departments of health. In general, getting licensed requires the submission of an application, a plan review request form, and an application fee. There also needs to be an Infection Prevent of Control Plan for safety.

Application Requirements

In the program application, owners should submit written proof from the zoning authority in your city as well as current first aid training certificates.

Tattoo artists should also show proof of an apprenticeship or training program in body art on the skin.

Sanitation Requirements: Body Art/Body Piercing License

To protect public health, tattoo artists who wish to own their own facilities should provide a current blood borne pathogens training certificate for every person who completes tattooing and body piercing procedures on site. This is to protect both the client and the tattoo artist from infection.

There needs to be a floor plan showing the layout of the facility and copies of parental consent forms, procedure record forms, and aftercare information.

There should be a log for steam sterilizer loads and a log used to demonstrate that employees have received proper training on the program for sanitation and skin safety at the site.

Pay a Fee

The fee required to get your tattoo facility licensed depends on your local public health department. The local health department in Hamilton County, for instance, requires that body artists who own their own shops pay a fee of $500.

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
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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