At Laughing Buddha

We look for the best in the industry. APP (Association of Profesional Piercers) members, highly trained cross-contamination and bloodborne pathogens prevention and passionate about learning the newest and best techniques and education available. They value doing piercings the absolute best way possible and using the highest quality jewelry available on the market. They are relentless in treating clients with respect and helping them feel safe and welcome.

We only use the best jewelry and hire the most professional and friendly piercers because our clients deserve it. We enjoy the APP Conference every year and work to learn the most cutting edge techniques and information. We are almost entirely disposable to provide the cleanest possible piercing experience.


Everyone who works at Laughing Buddha Seattle is an employee. We do this to ensure that we are compliant with city, state and federal employment laws. We only use independent contractors when they are guest artists working for a limited amount of time. Being an employee offers many benefits in contrast to being an independent contractor. Here are just some of them.


  • Lower tax burden for the tattooer or piercer. When you’re working as an independent contractor you are responsible for the full share of employment taxes referred to as “self-employment tax” and for collecting and paying out local sale tax. This has to be paid out of pocket and is usually due quarterly or yearly. As an employee, the studio (employer) pays for these taxes. Sales tax is collected by the studio and paid out monthly. Employment taxes come out of your check every two weeks. Depending on how many dependents you select when you are first hired you get more or less of your share of these taxes It’s very likely that you will not owe any taxes at the end of the year and many of our tattooers and piercers enjoy a tax return. You don’t have to worry about late payment penalties, monthly back tax payments or saving up for taxes. It’s all taken care of for you. All you have to do is file your taxes at the end of the year with your W-2 and wait for your tax return check. (It’s not guaranteed that you will receive a tax return. If you owe back taxes or select multiple dependents, you may still break even or owe taxes. Most of our people get a return.)

Health Insurance

  • We are proud to offer health insurance to all of our employees who work full time. If you are working over 30 hours, the studio pays a portion of your health insurance.

Sick Pay

  • Sick pay. The city of Seattle requires employers to pay sick pay for all employees. This is calculated as an average of the last three months of checks. If you’re sick, you can stay home and take care of yourself and not spread the cold or flue to your clients and co-workers. You’ll still get paid so there’s less to worry about. Sick pay is accumulated over time by the hours worked. For full details about paid sick time in Seattle please read this PDF.

Hourly Pay

  • As an employee, you are entitled to be paid for working whether you are with a client or not. We structure our pay as follows. You are paid minimum wage or your commission on services. Whatever one is more. If your commission is more than you would have made hourly then you get your commission. If your hourly pay is more than your commissions, you get paid for the hours you worked at Seattle minimum wage. You get one or the other. Not both. Whatever one is higher. You will get paid if you are working.


  • Supplies are paid for by the studio. The studio supplies everything you need so you don’t have to pay out of pocket to do your job. 

Family & Medical Leave

  • Family Leave
    • Care for a family member experiencing an illness or medical event
    • Certain military-connected events
    • Care and bond after a baby’s birth or the placement of a child younger than 18
  • Medical Leave
    • Care for yourself in relation to an illness or medical event.

For full details about paid family & medical leave please read this site.    

We go above and beyond to ensure that we follow the employment laws closely so that we will be around for a long time. We want to make sure that an audit or investigation will come up clean so that we don’t have to shut our doors to pay fines or back taxes. Because everyone here is an employee we do expect our tattooers and piercers to be on time to work, work their full shifts, meet high stands for quality in work, cleanliness, customer service, and wear clean clothes that don’t have stains or holes. We are professionals and expect our people to represent their own professionalism and the quality of the studio. We hold monthly studio meetings to keep good communication going and to address anything that comes up head on. We require everyone to be state licensed and bloodborne pathogens certified. Since we pay employment taxes for you and buy all supplies needed, our commission is 50/50. Tattooers and piercers save more on taxes and supplies than the 10% more they may receive at other studios. Bottom line is, you save more money than you lose with the slightly lower commissions.  We do advertising for you and boost posts on Instagram and Facebook whenever you want it. We work hard to ensure that you’re booked up and never have to worry about where your next client is coming from.

We are happy to answer any questions you may have about the information above or if we didn’t answer your questions here. Please reach out and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can. seattle@laughingbuddhatattoo.com