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Night Club or Dance Hall

An establishment where 50 or more people regularly congregate primarily for entertainment purposes in the form of dancing or live or recorded music. The establishment may serve food or beverages to patrons for on- or off-premise consumption or may have one or more temporary or permanent area(s) set aside for the purpose of dancing by the patrons of the establishment. Such establishments may include, but are not limited to, discotheques, cabarets, private clubs, banquet halls, and similar places of assembly.

Required

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Obtain a Business Income and Receipts Tax ID

Every individual, partnership, association and corporation doing business in Philadelphia must file a Business Income and Receipts Tax Return in whether or not they earned a profit during the preceding year. Rental activities are usually considered business activities.

Obtain an Activity License

An Activity License is required for all businesses and non-profits operating in Philadelphia. This includes businesses that are located outside the city limits but do some or all of their business activity in the City.

Special Assembly Occupancy License

This license is required for restaurants, bars, catering halls, night clubs and other gathering places with dancing and a lawful occupancy of over 50 people. Theatres with fixed seating do not need this license.

Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy is required as a condition of a change in the use and occupancy of a space in accordance with the International Building Code. Certificates of Occupancy are also required for all new construction and building additions.

Signage

To obtain permission to install a sign on your business, gather the materials listed below and submit a completed permit application in-person at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) Concourse.

Zoning and Use

The Philadelphia Zoning Code regulates development within the city. Zoning regulations govern land use, the height and size of buildings, population density, parking requirements, signage placement and the character of development on private property, and property uses.

Dumpster License, Private

All private dumpsters required a lifetime license from the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

Have a Recycling Plan

All commercial properties receiving private or city waste collection must complete the Commercial Solid Waste and Recycling Plan.

Documents You May Need

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Carnival License

Required of anyone holding or conducting any moving, temporary show where a charge is made for admission or participation, whether held in a building, tent, enclosure or lot, and where following forms of amusement or entertainment are conducted: riding devices, illusion shows, mechanical shows, active games of skill or games of a like character.

Food Establishment, Retail Permanent Location

This form is required to obtain a license to operate a retail food establishment with a permanent location, including candy stores and drug stores without soda fountains, grocery and meat markets, etc. This license excludes grocery stores making sandwiches and serving beverages. Square footage is based on total gross store area.

Food Preparing and Serving

This license is required of anyone operating a food establishment where food is prepared or served for public consumption. This includes restaurants, delis, caterers, bars, grocery stores making sandwiches and serving beverages, Child care facilities, etc.

Handbill Distribution License

This license is required for any distributor, distribution business, or person, who distributes commercial handbills on sidewalks, in public places, or door-to-door.