As a tattoo artist and studio owner, an important legal document you should have in place is a Business Terms and Conditions document called a Client Agreement. Your Client Agreement is made up of your Proposal which sets out the details of the specific tattoo you will be giving the client, and your Terms and Conditions, which sets out the general terms on which you will provide the services to the client.

Client Agreement Proposal

Your Proposal should set out the deposit you expect to take before drawing the tattoo and the deposit to hold the appointment. If you have spent hours creating a design, it is important to ensure that you receive payment for this, if even the client later changes their mind.

Your Proposal should set out all of the fees associated with the tattoo and how the prices will be set. For example, will the tattoo be calculated based on the size of the tattoo, the hours associated with creating the design and undertaking the tattoo, and other issues like whether the tattoo will be in colour or black ink only etc. These prices are usually set at the consultation stage and should be set out in your Proposal.  Many tattoo studios take cash only and this should also be set out in your Proposal. Your Proposal should also set out how much notice for cancellations must be given and when all payments are due. You should include in the Terms and Conditions when deposits are and are not refundable.

Obligations and Rights

Your Terms and Conditions should set out the obligations and rights of each party and are usually the same for all clients. In most states and territories, you are not allowed to tattoo anyone under the age of 18 years and this should be stated in your Terms and Conditions.

You should set out in your Terms and Conditions how your studio meets the health and safety regulations for your state or territory. In relation to hygiene and physical safety, it is likely that you will have a set of obligations for clients that will assist you in providing them with the best tattoo including preparation before the tattoo is drawn and tattoo after care. If your customer does not meet the obligations you have set out then you should be able to cancel or rearrange the appointment.

You should include in your Terms and Conditions that you may refuse to tattoo someone based on their age, if they are intoxicated or for any other reason which prevents you from tattooing the person safely or correctly.

Your clients should agree in the Terms and Conditions that they are aware of the pain that is caused during the process of getting a tattoo or tattoo removal. You may want to include in your Terms and Conditions a limitation of liability and indemnity as to any injuries or other health issues caused as a result of the tattoo.

There are some warranties and rights that you cannot exclude under Australian Consumer Law, however you can include a clause which states that you do not provide refunds for change of mind but will re-do defective work if required, for example, if the colour was incorrect or the image was incorrectly drawn on.

Intellectual Property

Your Terms and Conditions should also set out the intellectual property rights of each party. You should cover situations where your client has brought their own design, where you have created a design for them and where the creation of the design is done in collaboration.

Conclusion

Tattoos are extremely personal to each client and take a huge amount effort and creativity on your part. Having a well drafted and thorough Client Agreement in place reduces the chances of disputes and can help resolve client issues quickly. If you would like to us draft a Client Agreement for you, or a casual employment contract, or would like to learn more about Terms and Conditions for your business, contact LegalVision on 1300 544 755 and speak with one of our small business lawyers.

Edith Moss

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