Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Tent Permit

Service overview

You need a Tent Permit to put up a large tent or canopy for functions or events.

This includes:

  • Tents larger than 400 sq. ft.
  • Tens 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.

Who

Anyone can apply for this license.

Requirements

Permit application

  • 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.

Installer

The company installing the tent must have:

Plan requirements

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.

Fire safety

Submit documentation that shows tents, membrane structure, and their accessories meet the flame propagation performance criteria of NFPA 701.

Required pre-approvals

 For encroachments on the public right-of-way 

More +

For tents larger than 10 ft. by 10 ft. on Fairmount Park property 

More +

Where and when

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.

Cost

Fee per tent
$100

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

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.5% surcharge)
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.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • 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:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. 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.
  2. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

How

You can apply for this permit in person at the Permit and License Center. 

In person

1
Get any required pre-approvals before you apply.
2
Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

3
L&I will either issue your permit or request more information.

Forms & instructions


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