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Tattoo Shop Record Keeping

“Paperwork wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all the paper. And the work.”
                                                                        - Darynda Jones

Running a tattoo shop involves more than simply tattooing. In addition to practicing artwork, tattooing your own clients, managing artists, overseeing apprenticeships and implementing safety policies, you’re also responsible for keeping organized, accurate records of everything that happens in your business. If you aren't keeping certain records, you could be both violating your state regulations and opening your business up to a potential lawsuit. It is much easier to create an organized way to store your records at the start of your business than it is to try and organize an existing jumble of papers.

This guide brings together record keeping that is required by law in some states with general best practices to ensure you won’t be caught scrambling when inspection time rolls around.

What to keep for...


Consent forms, medical history--how much do I need to keep? Review exactly what client information you need to have on hand.

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The Shop

You need certain paperwork in the shop to comply with state laws and best practices. Review the basics that you need here.

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You've got a great team of artists in your shop and piles of artwork, paperwork, and resumes. Read over which employee files are critical to your business.

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You aren't done with your supplies once you've ordered them. Some things need to be kept in the shop just in case there's an incident.



It's the most important tool in your shop, and you need to document its effectiveness if you want to stay in business.

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If you have a great safety program in place and a well-trained team, you won't see too many incidents, but accidents can (and do) happen.

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