Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Food Establishment Retail, Permanent Location License

Service overview

If you want to run a permanent retail business that sells food but doesn’t prepare it, you need a Food Establishment Retail, Permanent Location License.

Businesses that might need this license include:

  • Grocery stores.
  • Candy or drug stores.
  • Meat markets.
  • Convenience stores.

If you are preparing food or serving drinks, you need to get a Food Preparation and Serving License.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.

Who

Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Tax compliance

You must be up to date 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

Total sq. area under 5,000 sq. ft.
$220

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

Renewal fee: $220

Total sq. area over 5,000 sq. ft.
$550

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

Renewal fee: $550

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

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 taxes.
  • Have a valid email address.

Forms & instructions


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