Business & self-employment

Get a Carnival License

Service overview

Nonprofits need a license to charge admission for events that offer the following forms of amusement:

  • Rides and riding devices
  • Illusion shows
  • Mechanical shows
  • Games of skill

A Carnival License can only be issued for one location for a period of eight consecutive days, excluding holidays, in a calendar year.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.

Who

Only nonprofits can get this license. Nonprofits must be registered with the Department of Revenue.

Requirements

Insurance

The carnival provider must have a Certificate of Insurance that includes these minimum amounts:

  • $100,000 of public liability, $300,000 per accident
  • $5,000 of property damage

The contract of insurance must name the City of Philadelphia as the certificate holder.

Letter of permission

You must provide a letter of permission from the owner of the location where the carnival will be held.

Other licenses and registrations

You may also need:

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.

Where and when

Online

Use the eCLIPSE system.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Office closes at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

Cost

This license is free for qualified nonprofits.

How

You can apply for this license online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

You must submit your Carnival License application at least 30 days prior to the event.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
L&I will forward your application to any other entity that must provide prerequisite approvals.
3
If the application is approved, you will receive notice to pay the balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center to submit your application.

You must submit your Carnival License application at least 30 days prior to the event.

2
L&I will forward your application to any other entity that must provide prerequisite approvals.
3
If the application is approved, you will receive notice to pay the balance.

If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

Renewal requirements

You cannot renew this license. You must get a new carnival license for each event.


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