You need a Vendor Motor Vehicle License to sell goods from a vehicle. Vehicles must be parked on the street and be able to be moved.
To operate a stand or food cart on the sidewalk, you need to get a Sidewalk Sales License and follow space limits.
Prohibited streets and special districts
The City prohibits vendors from selling in certain areas. For help with the prohibited streets, use the map below or contact the Vending Unit at (215) 686-2414.
Prohibited streets and areas and special vending districts
- Special vending districts
- Prohibited streets and areas
Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.
Other licenses and registrations
- Business Income and Receipts Tax ID (BIRT)
- Commercial Activity License
- Scales and Scanners License, if you plan to weigh and measure products or use an electronic scanner
You must provide two ID photos. These photos must be between two and three square inches in size.
To operate in the City’s special vending districts, you may need several licenses.
|District||Vendor Motor Vehicle||Neighborhood Vending License||Center City Vending License||Special Vending District License||Related food licenses (if selling food)|
|Elsewhere in the city||X||X|
Related food licenses include:
Where and when
Use the eCLIPSE system.
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.
A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied toward the balance of the license fee.
Note: If you are vending in any special neighborhood vending area, different fees will apply.
Payment methods and details
Accepted payment methods
|Online through the eCLIPSE application||
|In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building||
|In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building
(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)
Checks and money orders
- Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
- The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
- Personal checks are accepted.
- Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected
L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:
- Starter checks without account info
Returned payment policy
If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:
- You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20.
- The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
You can apply for this license online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.
Applications are reviewed within five business days.
If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.
L&I can review most applications while you wait.
This license must be renewed annually. You can renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.
To renew your license, you must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
Forms & instructions
- File and pay Business Income & Receipts Tax (BIRT)
- Get a Scales and Scanner License
- Apply for a plan review for a mobile food business
- Get a license to sell goods in special vending districts
- Get a Food Establishment Retail, Non-Permanent Location License
- Use eCLIPSE to apply for licenses
- Get a Commercial Activity License