Permits, violations & licenses

Get an Amusement License

Service overview

You need an Amusement License to hold an event that charges admission or asks for donations for amusement activities.

This might include:

  • Theatrical or operatic performances.
  • Movies.
  • Concerts.
  • Circuses.
  • Dance or music recitals.

Circus events that use City property need to contact the Office of Special Events for additional planning requirements.

Nonprofit organizations that want to hold a carnival for the purpose of fundraising must get a Carnival License and use a vendor with an Amusement License.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues these licenses.

Who

Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City 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

License fee
$50

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied toward the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due once your application is approved.

Renewal fee
$50

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 license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
If the application is approved, you will receive a 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.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

2
L&I will either issue your license or request more information.

Renewal requirements

Annual renewal:

  • Renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Required to renew:

  • Must have a valid email address
  • Be current on all City taxes

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