Special Events

Special Event Organizer Requirements

Various organizations and City departments sponsor special events or provide support to event organizers. Additional permits to hold an event on private property, city property, city parks or public school property are required for all event organizers. Please contact the below Departments for additional information or visit the Outdoor Event Planners questionnaire for additional guidance: Questionnaire for Outdoor Event Planners.

Special Event Business License Requirements

Anyone participating in commercial activity during a Special Event is required to apply for and obtain a Special Event Business License. A special event constitutes a separate business activity outside of a regular course of business and is usually of an entertainment, educational or lifestyle enrichment purpose. Established businesses in the City of Norfolk cannot use their existing business license for participation in a special events.

The license will be valid for participation in other special events throughout the City of Norfolk. Each vendor should contact the event organizer directly with questions on how to vend at the specified event. Once the vendor has completed the organizers process, they must then obtain a special event business license. Each license will be categorized as a food or non-food vendor.


To participate in special events in the City of Norfolk, the following are required:

  • Treasurer Approval Norfolk City Code Section 24-25.10
  • Special Event Business License 
  • Applications are required yearly / Cost: $50

How to Apply:

Applications Accepted Via:

Make checks/money orders payable to: Norfolk City Treasurer

To ensure business licenses are in hand the day of the event, all applications must be submitted, and payments received 4 business days prior to the scheduled event.

Additional Information:

  • If a business charges a fee for entertainment and/or amusement, that business is required to collect and remit a 10% admissions tax due to the City of Norfolk.  
  • If a business sells prepared foods, they are required to collect and remit the 6.5% meal tax which is due to the City of Norfolk.  
  • All admission taxes and meal taxes are due on the 20th of the month following the month in which the event took place.

For Organizers:

For Vendors: