Permit Types


For Brick-and-Mortar Establishments:

Place of Entertainment Permit - required for all brick-and-mortar premises, including outdoor premises, to which patrons or members are admitted, and wherein Entertainment is furnished or occurs upon the premises on an ongoing or permanent basis. This permit allows live performances as a primary use until 2 a.m. daily, unless conditioned otherwise by the Entertainment Commission. Examples include live music venues, nightclubs, concert halls, venues with DJs, special event venues, or any other establishment that provides Entertainment on an ongoing basis.

Limited Live Performance Permit - required for live performances in establishments whose primary use is not Entertainment. This permit is required for all premises where the locale is indoors, or consists of an outdoor plaza, courtyard, or similar space, enclosed by surrounding buildings, with or without open means of public ingress and egress, with an area in which live performances are presented that is no greater than 200 square feet. Examples include a restaurant with a piano player, or a café that hosts live poetry or music.

This permit may be appropriate if your venue meets all of the following conditions:

  1. The primary use of your establishment is not Entertainment;

  2. Performances must end by 10:00 p.m. daily;

  3. The area of the space occupied by performers is no greater than 200 square feet.

If your proposed use does not meet those conditions, a Place of Entertainment permit, or a One Time Indoor Entertainment Event permit, may be the appropriate permit for you, subject to zoning restrictions.

Extended Hours Premises Permit – required for all premises to which patrons or members are admitted or which allows patrons or members to remain between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. which serves food, beverages, or food and beverages, including but not limited to, alcoholic beverages, for consumption on the premises or wherein Entertainment is furnished or occurs upon the premises. These permits are commonly used for late-night food establishments, or Place of Entertainment premises that want to extend Entertainment past 2 a.m. on an ongoing basis if zoning allows.


Fixed Place Amplified Sound Permit – required for an outdoor brick-and-mortar premises, to which patrons or members are admitted, and wherein outdoor amplified sound with no live performer occurs upon the premises on an ongoing or permanent basis. 


Billiard Parlor Permit – required for all premises that maintain and charge for the use of billiard or pool tables.


Mechanical Amusement Device Permit – required for all premises that furnishes any machine or device, which may be operated for use as a game, contest or amusement and takes a form of payment. Mechanical Amusement Device permits may be obtained as an “ancillary use” which allows the operation of 1 to 10 mechanical amusement devices on the premises wherein another business operates, or if zoning allows, as an “Arcade” for any premises where 11 or more mechanical amusement devices are operated.



For Events:

**Important: During COVID-19, if you’re inquiring about holding entertainment or amplified sound at an outdoor location, visit our application page for the new JAM Permit.**

For permit-related inquiries, contact or call 628-652-6030.

One Time Outdoor Entertainment Event Permit*– required for an outdoor event with Entertainment – including, but not limited to, a street fair, concert, athletic event, arts festival, block party, fashion show, fundraiser or other organized event for a group of people – at a location that is not a private residence. This permit is used for an event with Entertainment occurring outdoors on a limited basis with or without amplified sound. Refer to the municipal code’s definition of Entertainment to see if your activity is considered to be “Entertainment.”

For parades and marches that use any outdoor amplified sound, refer to Sound Truck Permit.

For outdoor events with amplified sound and NO Entertainment, refer to One Time Outdoor Amplified Sound Permit (No Entertainment Furnished).


One Time Outdoor Amplified Sound Permit (No Entertainment Furnished)*– required for an event with outdoor amplified sound where Entertainment or live performance is NOT involved. Examples include (but are not limited to) events that play or project any of the following out-of-doors on a limited basis: amplified human speech (e.g., rallies, remarks), radio, television, iPod, pre-recorded background music or sound with no live performer, and/or streaming media.


Sound Truck Permit*– required for the outdoor use of amplified sound equipment attached to or being carried on a motor vehicle or other means of conveyance. Examples include parades, floats, marches that use amplified sound equipment.


One Time Indoor Entertainment Event Permit required for an indoor event that provides Entertainment on a limited basis at an establishment that does not already hold a Place of Entertainment Permit or Limited Live Performance Permit; and is not a private residence. A One Time Indoor Entertainment Event shall not occur more than a total of 12 days at the same premises within any 12-month calendar year period. This permit may be required for any Entertainment that occurs after the allowable hours of a Place of Entertainment Permit or a Limited Live Performance Permit.

South East Community Center Event/ "One Night Dance" Permit – required for a temporary indoor event with Entertainment occurring at the South East Community Center.

*The Entertainment Commission’s jurisdiction includes outdoor events with entertainment and/or amplified sound on City streets and sidewalks and other non-residential property, Port of San Francisco property, and Treasure Island. For events on SF Recreation & ParkPresidio Trust, or U.S. National Park Service/GGNRA property, refer to those agencies for outdoor amplified sound and event permitting.