harmless contracts, can i if i do not actually assess fees for the work the clients request to be done by me, they at times give me donations can i be criminally proscuted for this if i do not have a liscense and the persons before hand sign a drafted informed consent as well as a hold harmless contract? please give me some insight into anything possiable thank you.
Having clients sign hold harmless agreements and informed consents, or any other contract of any kind, doesn't in any way prohibit you from being criminally prosecuted for anything. Contracts like those are meant to limit your liability to the individual you're contracting with -- i.e., to the client themselves. Whether or not the contracts you're using would even successfully do that, however, is arguable at best. If something went wrong and a client was injured or the like, they could still sue you. The signed paperwork you have might be an adequate defense for you, but that's not necessarily clear, nor would it be automatic. Further, if you're doing this work without insurance, any potential issue could immediately translate to a very high dollar amount of liability exposure to you directly and personally.
In short, the risks would likely quickly outweigh the rewards, significantly.
In addition, the Oregon Health Licensing Agency is responsible for the administration and oversight of various health professionals, including body art, under the Board of Body Art Practitioners. I don't know what the administrative penalties are for tattooing without a license, but either way your contracts with your clients wouldn't prevent them from pursuing any such available administrative penalties at all, nor would they be prevented from referring any such case to any relevant enforcement authorities, if warranted.
Finally, you indicate that you do not assess "fees" but that you at times accept "donations," which is of course a purposefully cheeky way to attempt to skirt business accounting practices, tax reporting, and all the like. It's impossible to know given the facts what liability might exist, and to whom, but suffice it to say that you no doubt have at least some exposure there, to multiple governmental entities.
If you want to continue tattooing while minimizing as many risks as possible, you should pursue a license through OHLA, and then either set up your own business or join an established shop. I know many tattoo artists offer apprenticeship type programs which, in addition to the artistic and creative side, can help you understand the business side of the profession. Finally, using a lawyer to help you understand and then set up such a venture is always recommended.
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I agree with what was already said but have an additional comments. The fact that you call the "payment" a donation is irrelevant. It is still income. Basically, If you look like a tattoo artist, act like a tattoo, etc., you are doing tattoo work that is subject to regulation by the state of Oregon. If the purpose of the hold harmless contract is to avoid licensing, it is likely an illegal contract and therefore unenforceable.
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