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.
  • Anchoring, if applicable.

Fire safety

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.

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.

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

Cost

Fee per tent
$103

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

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • 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 or online using eCLIPSE.

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. You are limited to three applications per ticket.

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

Online

1
Log in to your eCLIPSE account and apply for a permit. Upload all required documents and pay the filing fee.
  • Only the tent installer or an employee of the tent installer may file the application online.
  • Applications are reviewed within five business days.
2
If approved, you will receive a notice to pay balance

If your application isn’t approved, you will receive an email telling you what else is missing or required.

3
Once you are approved, schedule an inspection.

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.


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