Updated: Apr 22
By: Dani Bernal
Imagine planning months for the most epic event your company has ever done, and then suddenly you must cancel the entire event just because you lacked the proper permits and licenses. The event planning team needs to prioritize all the required permits and licenses for your event to happen.
Some permits are easy to get, while others require more time and energy to secure. Therefore, you need to know what you need to avoid any last-minute preparations that might jeopardize the whole event.
Imagine being in an event where a specific permit is required, and there is absolutely no time to get it. Such a situation might ruin your whole event and sometimes attract huge fines and fees that were not budgeted for. This article shall discuss all the necessary permits you and your event organizing team should be aware of.
Permits You Might Need for An Event
1. Noise permit
Is music a significant component of entertainment in your event? If the answer is yes, then you will need a noise permit. This is because all musical appliances and instruments have the potential to disrupt the people living in the neighborhood where the event will occur. Another reason your event will most likely need a noise permit is if your event will be hosted outside. When you host events outside, there are fewer sound barriers and noise travels next door quickly. Lastly, if you intend to host an overnight event, take it upon yourself to get a noise permit before the event happens.
2. Alcohol License
Events are all smiles and fun until someone gets way too drunk to function and causes problems at your event. Your event doesn't need this kind of liability. Don't try to slide under the radar without obtaining an alcohol license. Many terrible consequences can happen if your event does not have an alcohol license. Avoid the drama, play it safe, and don't skip this license if your event is serving alcohol. Get an alcohol license and get it early; an alcohol license usually takes about 90 days to process. The earlier you decide to get the alcohol license for our event, the better!
3. Event Permit
No two events are the same, and the same goes for event permits from city to city. For example, an event permit in Los Angeles can be very different from an event permit in Washington DC. Here at Vision Matrix, we know the importance of this because we have event production offices in Los Angeles and Washington D.C and have experience producing events nationwide. All cities have clear distinctions, but we are experienced and familiar with navigating the complicated systems. Because of this, we are comfortable and prepared to obtain event permits in any city.
Be sure to research the city where the event shall take place and follow all the necessary rules and regulations of the city to get an event permit. However, it is essential to know that an event permit varies in cost depending on the number of people who will attend the event.
If you have done the research and are still finding it extremely complicated, do not fret, it's not you; they are very frustrating at times. Feel free to give us a call so we can help you.
4. Health Permit
You booked your favorite chef and hired the most amazing waiters; now it's time to obtain a health permit. A health permit should also be obtained in an event where food or drinks will be served. If you do not plan to have foods or beverages served or sold at your event, a health permit might not be necessary. Do not risk the whole affair by not securing a health permit to cover the events catering department.
5. Fireworks Permit
How gorgeous were the fireworks during Katy Perry's "Firework" performance at the 2021 inauguration? Fireworks have a way of making people feel happy and connected because they are so beautiful and grand. Here at Vision Matrix, we love them! They are such a great idea for entertaining guests and spicing up an event. However, fireworks are not allowed everywhere and can be presumed dangerous. In some places, fireworks are illegal and can attract a huge fine that might be bad for the event. Therefore, if you decide to have fireworks at your event, make sure that your location welcomes them.
6. Premises License
As mentioned, some permits and licenses can be very complicated to obtain. Luckily one of the easier ones to get is a premise license. This is because your venue might already have one for you. Before rushing into making such a decision as getting a premise license, send a quick email to the venue owner and confirm whether they have the permission or not.
7. Building Permit
One of our favorite permits to obtain is a building permit. Our eyes light up anytime we have to build a stage or tent or anything massive. At Vision Matrix we love a challenge and take events to their fullest potential with our dedicated building crew. Stages, tents, and installations are a great way to make your event stand out.
Unfortunately, this is one of the most complicated permits to obtain for the regular public. There are a lot of specifications required to get a building permit. You must include exterior and interior plans and other finicky information that may be difficult to navigate without consulting an expert.
If you're trying to go big, don't go home and call us to take care of this for you. Doing this as a DIY task could cost you a lot of time, money, and stress.
8. Business license
If you don't have a business license, it will be challenging to conduct business with venues and other vendors. A business license is mainly required for legalities. Most events require business licenses to sell products and operate smoothly without interference. Event organizers should carefully investigate and gather information about the whole process of securing a business license in their state as a formality.
9. Temporary use permit
When it comes to temporary permits, you'll need to understand that there are two types. One covers the use of vacant properties or land temporarily to host events. The second is necessary if you temporarily need space for parking or vendors for your event. Usually, events that require a temporary use permit are private events like carnivals which happen on personal property. If you are an organizer of such an event, you should consider getting a temporary permit.
If you're visiting our page for advice, chances are you are planning a massive event, and you will need a permit or license of some sort. We're here to guide you in this complicated and long journey. An event is only safe and runs smoothly if it has all the necessary paperwork supporting its occurrence. If you need any more help navigating permits and licenses, send us an email, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions or doubts you might have.