What to do
About POE permits
You need a Place of Entertainment (POE) permit if you have entertainment at your business on an ongoing basis, and:
- Entertainment is a primary use for the business, like a live music venue, nightclub, concert hall, or special event venue
- Patrons or members are admitted
- Indoor live performances may occur until 2 a.m. daily, unless otherwise required by the Entertainment Commission
Entertainment may be provided at an indoor or outdoor premises.
Entertainment includes any of the following:
- Theater performance
- Dance performance
- Comedy show
- Fashion show
- Poetry reading
You don’t need an entertainment permit for:
- Indoor pre-recorded music that doesn’t involve a live performer, like a song playlist or a jukebox.
- An unamplified solo performer that’s performing indoors at a business before 10pm.
1. Check to see if you can apply
Email the Deputy Director at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if you can get a permit for your location, depending on zoning rules.
Include the following information in your email:
- Your business name
- Your business address
- Your contact info
- Types of entertainment and amplified sound
- Whether you have indoor and/or outdoor entertainment
- Proposed hours of entertainment, including the start time and end time
- If you are planning to have pool tables or mechanical games
Wait for further instructions telling you if you can apply.
2. Submit your application
Get your documents ready
You will need to include these documents in your application:
- Entertainment Commission permit application
- Letter of Intent
- Application questionnaire
- Business registration certificate
- Health Permit to operate from the SF Department of Public Health
- ABC Liquor License, if applicable
- Fire Department’s Place of Assembly Permit, if applicable
Fill out the forms and email the application and supporting documents to: email@example.com
Applying does not guarantee you will get a permit. We will contact you if there is an issue with your application.
3. Attend a meeting
You'll meet with our Deputy Director. At the meeting we will review the application in full with you and go over the next steps in the permitting process.
4. Pay the application fee
Pay online with a credit card or electronic check.
You can also pay by check or money order. Make payable to “City and County of San Francisco.”
We collect your permit application fee. Fees are updated every July.
The Treasurer and Tax Collector bills you separately for the annual license fee.
5. Let your neighbors know
We send your application packet to City departments for their review and approval. These include the Planning Department, Police Department, and any other relevant City departments, depending on the permit you are applying for.
The Entertainment Commission hearing date is scheduled. The Commission meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month.
You will need to do outreach to your neighbors as discussed at your in-take meeting and post our yellow public notice at your location for 30 days.
6. Schedule any required inspections
7. Attend the hearing
You will need to attend a public hearing.
Commissioners may ask you questions about your plans at the hearing. They will vote on whether to approve your permit.
If you still have inspections that need to happen, you must pass those inspections before receiving the permit.
8. Post your permit
We will email you a PDF of your permit.
You must post it at your business location. Then you can begin holding the activity that the entertainment permit allows.
Renew your entertainment permit every year by paying the annual license fee to the Treasurer and Tax Collector.
Last updated August 1, 2022