Teens & Tattoos: 3 Things You Need to Know as an Artist


Tattoos are becoming increasingly popular in the United States, and no demographic is getting inked more than Millennials. According to

Should I Tattoo?, Millennials are more likely to have tattoos than any preceding generation. Citing a 2013 Pew Research study, TeenLife reports that 36 percent of Americans between 18 and 25 years of age have at least one tattoo — and many aren’t waiting until their 20s to get inked. An increasing number of teens are seeking tattoos, and tattoo artists need to be prepared for these young customers. If you run a tattoo studio, here’s what you need to know about teens and tattoos, and ideally before they start coming into your studio.

Tattoo Insurance

Know the Laws in Your State, and Check IDs

The legal age for getting a tattoo varies from state to state. Many states require teenagers to be at least 18 before they can legally get a tattoo, but some states allow teens as young as 14 or 16 get inked if they have a parent’s consent. In some cases, a parental consent form must be notarized.

Make sure you know the laws regarding tattoos in your state, and be ready to check IDs of anyone who comes in. You don’t want to lose business by turning away potential customers who are of legal age, but you also don’t want to give tattoos to teenagers who are too young.

Tattooing minors could jeopardize your business. If caught, you may face legal consequences, and a teen’s parents (or a teenage customer themselves) may sue your business even if the authorities don’t take action.

Both legal consequences and lawsuits could financially devastate your business and tarnish its reputation. While you may have tattoo insurance for your studio, many policies don’t cover actions that break the law and you could be left without protection.

Instead of seeking a short-term boost in revenue, invest in your business’s long-term success by knowing the laws in your state and adhering to them.

Have Waivers and Forms Ready

In addition to following all laws in your state, you’ll likely also want to protect your business with appropriate waivers and forms. A qualified lawyer can help draw up all necessary documents, which may include standard waivers, parental consent forms and other forms. Be sure to keep plenty of copies of these forms on hand at all times in case a minor walks into your shop.  Update forms as necessary to ensure you are following the latest regulations.

picture of insurance file

Have a Robust Insurance Portfolio

In addition to having these legal protections in place, your tattoo studio should also have a robust insurance portfolio. While individual insurance needs vary, many tattoo studios carry the following types of liability insurance:

  • general liability insurance, which provides broad protections from a variety of potential risks
  • professional liability insurance, which may provide protection if you or an employee injures a customer or does substandard work
  • communicable disease liability insurance, which might cover your business if a customer contracts a disease while getting a tattoo

No matter how many precautions you and your employees take, you probably still want to at least carry these three forms of liability insurance. Despite best efforts, accidents can still happen.  Additionally, many liability policies will provide coverage for legal defenses regardless of a lawsuit’s veracity.

If you’d like help comparing the insurance options available to your business, contact us at Marine Agency. One of our agents will be happy to help you consider your business’ risk exposure and compare the different insurance options that are available. We’ve helped tattoo studios get the coverage they need since 1990, and we’re experts when it comes to insurance for tattoo studios.

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