You need a Tent Permit to put up a large tent or canopy for functions or events.
- Tents larger than 400 sq. ft.
- Tents larger than 10 ft. by 10 ft. in a City park.
- Canopies larger than 400 sq. ft. with a minimum clearance of 12 in. from other tents.
See the Philadelphia Fire Code for exceptions.
The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this permit.
Anyone can apply for this license.
- You must list the dates of the event, installation, and removal.
- You must note if the installation will happen during the weekend or after 4 p.m. on a weekday.
- There is an additional fee for any installation requiring an inspection outside of normal business hours.
The company installing the tent must have:
- Business Income and Receipts Tax ID.
- Commercial Activity License.
- A current Certificate of Insurance for a minimum of $1,000,000 of General Liability coverage.
Provide a detailed site and floor plan for tents, including:
- Size and location.
- Tent exits.
- Proposed occupant load.
- Arrangement of the seating and locations.
- Type of heating and electrical equipment.
- Anchoring, if applicable.
Submit documentation that shows tents, membrane structure, and their accessories meet the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701.
If the property is in the floodplain
Temporary structures in the floodplain must be anchored.
Where and when
You can apply online using eCLIPSE.
If you need help filing your application online, you can schedule a virtual appointment.
You need an appointment to visit the Permit and License Center 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
Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.
There is an additional fee of $200 to set-up on weekends or after 4 p.m on weekdays.
Payment methods and details
Accepted payment methods
|Online through the eCLIPSE application
(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)
|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 will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
- You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
- The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
- If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
- You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
- The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
- You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.
Late license payment
If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.
You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center or online using eCLIPSE.
L&I can review most applications while you wait. You are limited to three applications per ticket.
- Only the tent installer or an employee of the tent installer may file the application online.
- The Commercial Activity License for the business must be linked to your eCLIPSE user account.
- Applications are reviewed within five business days.
If your application isn’t approved, you will receive an email telling you what else is missing or required.
When the contractor is ready to start work, request an inspection through eCLIPSE or by calling (215) 255-4040.
Approval documents will be issued upon successful completion of all required inspections.