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As a tattoo artist and studio owner, it is important to have in place a set of terms and conditions between you and your clients. This will ensure you meet any requisite licensing requirements in the state or territory where you operate your business. Secondly, your terms and conditions should be a staple document you have in place before going into business. Terms and conditions are important because they set out your relationship between yourself and your clients. By ensuring everyone is on the same page, there is a better chance of you getting paid for your hard work and less chance of a dispute arising.

Key Clauses 

Eligibility

Your terms and conditions should cover any restrictions on who you will provide services to at your tattoo studio. For example, you may set out that you do not provide services to individuals under 18. Furthermore, you may not provide services to individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Bookings

Most tattoo studios will have a procedure for clients to make a booking to get their tattoo. Some studios will have an online booking system. Whereas others might do it in person, over the phone, or through a combination. Your terms and conditions must make it clear at what point a client creates their booking with your tattoo studio. This is so you can rely on any cancellation policy you have in place. Indeed, you may choose to email or text a booking confirmation through to the client. This ensures there is a written record of the booking. 

Cancellation Policy

It is important clients do not cancel or reschedule bookings with late notice. Therefore, your terms and conditions should include a cancellation policy. This is important because you likely set aside time to tattoo a client. You may even have hired someone external who you will need to pay for their time. The cancellation policy should cover whether you will allow your clients to cancel or reschedule and the amount of notice they must provide.

If you are choosing to request a non-refundable deposit at the time of booking, you should ensure the deposit amount is a genuine pre-estimate of the loss you will suffer by the client cancelling. Otherwise, the non-refundable deposit may be considered a penalty and deemed unenforceable. You should also set out what happens if you need to reschedule. This could happen if you are sick or even if there is another reason you cannot operate, such as government-enforced lockdown due to Covid-19.

Payment

One of the reasons it is important to have a good set of terms and conditions is so that it is clear when and how much a client must pay for your services. While you may not set out the actual price in the terms and conditions, it should determine how the business will decide the price, whether through a quote, your standard list of pricing, or by hourly rate. You should also set out the payment terms. For example, you may decide to take all the payment upfront on completion of each session if the tattoo will take multiple sessions or once you have fully completed the tattoo. If you agree to any specific payment terms for an individual client, make sure both parties agree to these in writing. 

Designs

Many tattoo artists take a lot of pride in the designs of each tattoo they create. If you create many designs and then tattoo the same designs on multiple clients, it is important you own the copyright for such designs. Indeed, including ownership rights to the designs in your terms and conditions is very important. Tattoos will be with your clients for life, so you should also ensure a mechanism to check you are both on the same page about what design you will be tattooing on them.

Liability

Providing tattoo services or getting a tattoo is risky business. Tattoos cause a permanent change to an individual’s body, and there are also associated medical risks. As a tattoo artist, you will also have your own obligations regarding the duty of care you owe your client. For example, you must provide a clean environment with sterile needles. In any event, it is also important to have your clients agree in writing to the risky nature of the procedure. Indeed, you will certinaly need to waive your liability in certain situations. In particular, there may be events where the client does not follow your instructions. For example, they may not follow the care instructions for the tattoo as instructed. In other scenarios, they may suffer from injury or a medical issue such as infection, scarring, or an allergic reaction. 

Beware

If you are operating in New South Wales, your terms and conditions will need to consider the disclosure obligations you will have under the Fair Trading Act. Under the Fair Trading Act, you need to ensure you take reasonable steps to ensure your clients are aware of the substance and effect of any terms or conditions that may substantially prejudice their interests. You can do this by summarising any substantially prejudicial terms and presenting these on your quote or booking page. Again, a lawyer will be able to help you to navigate this. Failure to do so could result in a financial penalty.  

Key Takeaways

Tattoos are extremely personal to each client and take a huge amount of effort and creativity on your part. However, having a well-drafted and comprehensive set of business terms and conditions in place reduces the chances of disputes and can help resolve client issues quickly. 


If you need assistance with contracts for your tattoo studio, call LegalVision’s commercial contracts lawyers today on 1300 544 755 or fill out the form on this page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need terms and conditions for my Tattoo Studio?

Yes. It is important that you have terms and conditions because they set out your relationship between yourself and your clients. By ensuring everyone is on the same page, there is a better chance of you getting paid for your hard work and less chance of a dispute arising.

Can I protect my intellectual property in terms and conditions?

Including ownership rights to the designs in your terms and conditions is very important. If you create many designs and then tattoo the same designs on multiple clients, it is important you own the copyright for such designs.

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