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.
- Seven Venues, (757) 664-6880 www.norfolk.gov/sevenvenues Seven Venues Open Air Event Permit Guidelines
- Festevents, (757) 441-2345 www.festevents.org Festevents food and retail vending online application
- City Planning, (757) 664-6565 https://www.norfolk.gov/planning Special Event Private Property application
- Downtown Norfolk Council, (757) 623-1757 www.downtownnorfolk.org
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:
- Complete the Special Event Business License Application, in the Applications link below, to participate in any events within the City of Norfolk.
- Once completed a request will be sent to the Norfolk City Treasurer for an approval certificate which indicates that all delinquent taxes you or your company may owe to the city are paid in full.
- After all the requirements have been satisfied, you will receive notification and instructions on how to proceed with remitting payment and receiving your business license.
Applications Accepted Via:
- Online:Special Event Business License Application
- In-Person/USPS/Drop Box: 810 Union Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
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.
- 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.
- Please read the Festival Organizer Letter and use the Vendor Information Sheet (this is an excel document you will need to download and save) when submitting a vendor list to the Commissioner of the Revenue.
- Please read the Festival Participant Letter for additional information on the special event licensing.