Special Events

Special Event Business License

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. All business activity in the city must have a location and each location must have a separate license. Established businesses in the City of Norfolk cannot use their existing license for participation in a special event.

The license will be valid for participation in other special events throughout the City of Norfolk. Each vendor must be on the approved vendor list provided by the event sponsor/organizer for all events in which they have paid to participate. Once the vendor is approved, they must complete the special event business license application and return it to the Commissioner of the Revenue, along with payment. The cost of a special event business license is $50 and the license is valid for a calendar year.

Various organizations and City departments sponsor special events or provide support to event organizers. Please contact the following for information such as event locations, dates and organizer information.

Seven Venues, (757) 664-6880 www.norfolk.gov/sevenvenues                                                                                          Festevents, (757) 441-2345 www.festevents.org                                                                                                                  Downtown Norfolk Council, (757) 623-1757 www.downtownnorfolk.org 

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. This tax is 10% of the price of admission and is a tax on the customer, not the business.
  • 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. This tax is also on the customer and not the business.
  • All admission taxes and meal taxes are due on the 20th of the month following the month in which the event took place.
  • Forms are mailed after the event for the reporting and remittance of admission and/or meal tax. The payment portal (https://eservices.norfolk.gov/) can be used to report and pay the taxes.

For Organizers

For Vendors