Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Newsstand License

Service overview

You need a Newsstand License to operate a newsstand that sells:

  • Publications.
  • Tobacco products.
  • Wrapped candy.
  • State Lottery tickets.

All newsstands must sell newspapers.

You need a separate license for each newsstand you run. If you’re the new owner of an existing newsstand, you must apply for your own license. The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.

To sell newspapers from an unattended, self-service box, you need an Honor Box License.

Who

Business owners and their agents can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

If you want to sell prepackaged food, like chips or bottled soda, you’ll also need:

Other documents

  • Proof of your identity and address.
  • Two photographs of yourself. These pictures should be between two and three inches square.
  • If you are the new owner of an existing newsstand, a copy of your notarized Bill of Sale.
  • Proof of bond in the amount of $1500.

Required pre-approvals

For all newsstands

More +

For newsstands in the public right-of-way

More +

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
$330

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

Renewal fee
$330

If your license is approved, you must post a bond of $1,500. This bond covers the cost of removal or relocation of the newsstand if it is abandoned.

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
Get all required pre-approvals before applying.
2
Log into eCLIPSE and upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

3
The Vending Unit will schedule and complete an inspection.

If you pass the inspection, L&I will approve your application.

4
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
Get all required pre-approvals before applying.

Bring your approval letters with you when you apply.

2
Visit the Permit and License Center.
3
The Vending Unit will schedule and complete an inspection.

If you pass the inspection, L&I will approve your application.

4
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.

Abandoned newsstands

If you don’t operate your newsstand for 20 days, it will be considered abandoned. You will receive a notice and have 30 days to appeal. If you don’t appeal or the appeal is denied, the newsstand will be removed.

Renewal requirements

Annual renewal:

  • Renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permits and Licenses Center.

Required for renewal:

  • Must be current on all City taxes
  • Valid email address

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