DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
Any room, place, or space in New York City in which patron dancing is permitted in connection with the restaurant business or a business that sells food and/or beverages to the public requires a Cabaret license.
This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Cabaret license.
Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal. For convenience, sections of the New York City Licensing Law (and Rules, if enacted) are available as a downloadable handout.
Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the handout. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
ADDITIONAL CITY PERMIT YOU NEED:
- Your business must hold a current New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Food Service Establishment Permit in good standing before you can apply for a Cabaret license.
Before You File Your DCA License Application:
- Premises Approval by the Fire Department
You must receive premises approval from the Fire Department (FDNY) in order to obtain a Cabaret license. Complete the Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation and DCA will forward your request to FDNY. FDNY will notify DCA of your inspection results. Please note that if you fail the inspection, it is your responsibility to correct problems.
- Community Board Review
DCA will submit a copy of your Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation to the Community Board where your premises will be located. The Community Board has 45 days to respond and their feedback will be taken into consideration in the review of your license application.
- Electrical Inspection
The premises must be in compliance with all current electrical building codes. Please obtain ONE of the following as proof of an electrical inspection:
- A copy of a statement from a licensed electrician, on official business letterhead, stating that the premises comply with all current electrical building codes OR
- A current copy of the Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Department of Buildings (DOB) dated within 90 days of application submission. Note: A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy is not an acceptable proof of an electrical inspection.
- Applicable Business Certificates based on your Business's Legal Structure (Although DCA does not require submission of these documents in order to process your application in person or online, DCA reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20.104 of the New York City Administrative Code.)
Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate.
General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at NYS Web site. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.
Your business must resolve any outstanding Environmental Control Board (ECB) violations before you file an application. For information about obtaining clearance or paying fines, visit the DCA Licensing Center at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in Lower Manhattan, call 311, or visit the ECB Web site
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic License Application
Note: If you file the application in person, you must submit a separate application for each room or floor you will use as a cabaret.
Applying for the license online does not mean the license is automatically approved. A major credit card is required to submit applications online. Convenience fees apply. After reviewing application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of this Web page to submit your application online.
For in-person application submission, applicants can download and complete the Basic License Application Form (in PDF).
- Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation (download)
See description above. DCA will forward the request to FDNY and the relevant Community Board for review and/or approval.
- Proof of Electrical Inspection
See description above.
- Sales Tax Identification Number OR Certificate of Authority Application Confirmation Number
The Sales Tax Identification Number is the 9, 10, or 11-digit number on your New York State Department of Taxation and Finance Certificate of Authority. You must enter this number on the Basic License Application form. If you have not received your Certificate of Authority, please enter the 6-digit confirmation number you received when you successfully submitted the application for a Certificate of Authority.
To obtain an application for a Certificate of Authority, visit the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance online at http://tax.ny.gov or call (518) 485-2889. Allow four to six weeks after applying to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance to receive your Certificate of Authority.
- Cabaret Security Employee Background Check Affirmation (download)
Complete the form to affirm that your business will comply with the law on hiring security employees.
- Cabaret Digital Video Surveillance Cameras Certification (download)
Complete the form to affirm that your business will comply with the law on digital video surveillance cameras for cabarets (§ 20-360.2 of the New York City Administrative Code).
- Department of Buildings Documents
You must submit a copy of the Certificate of Occupancy, Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (expiring no less than 30 days from date of application submission), OR Letter of No Objection from DOB confirming that your premises is suitable to operate your business. If you submit a Certificate of Occupancy or Temporary Certificate of Occupancy, it must be the most current version and show approval of the premises for “Use Group 12” and “Cabaret” or “Eating and drinking establishment without restriction on entertainment.”
In addition, if the premises will be able to accommodate 75 or more persons, you must submit a copy of your Place of Assembly Certificate of Operation issued by DOB. The certificate must be the most current version and indicate the usage for a cabaret. For more information, visit DOB’s Web site
- Child Support Certification Form (download)
If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.
- Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation.
- License Fee
For in-person application submissions, the License Fee must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed and the room capacity. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2009, 2011, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2010, 2012, etc.
Please note that convenience fees apply if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
| CABARET LICENSE |
| License Term: 2 years|
| License Expiration Date: September 30, Even years |
| ||Your License Fee is (determined by room capacity): |
|If You File Your Application Between These Dates:|
Each Additional Room or Floor
|From October 1 in an even year to March 31 in an odd year|| $600|| $800|| $910|| $1,000|| $120|
|From April 1 in an odd year to September 30 in an odd year|| $450|| $600|| $685|| $750|| $90|
|From October 1 in an odd year to March 31 in an even year|| $300|| $400|| $455|| $500|| $60|
|From April 1 in an even year to September 30 in an even year|| $150|
*Note: If you are applying for the license between April 1 in an even year and September 30 in an even year, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end PLUS the fee for the new two-year license period. For example, applicants with seating capacity of 1-74 can pay $150 (prorated fee) PLUS $600 (two-year fee), for a total of $750. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until September 30 of the next even year.
Online Applicants: If you submit your license application online between April 1 in an even year and September 30 in an even year, you will be required to pay the combined fee. Combined fees are marked with an asterisk (*) in the chart. For example, applicants with seating capacity of 1-74 must pay $750. You will not need to renew the license until September 30 of the next even year.
APPLICATION FILING PROCESS:
Please make sure that you have reviewed and recorded the information required to submit a license application online before clicking the button below. Note: As outlined in the “When You File” section, applicants must submit the following supporting documents: Application to Request an Inspection/Recommendation; Proof of Electrical Inspection; Cabaret Security Employee Background Check Affirmation; Cabaret Digital Video Surveillance Certification; Department of Buildings Documents; Child Support Certification Form (if applicable); and Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (if applicable). You must fax, e-mail, or bring documents to the DCA Licensing Center within five (5) business days after successfully filing the application form online. Applicants should follow instructions on the printed confirmation page. Your license application will not be complete without these requirements.
You will be routed to NYC Business Express.
Applications may be filed in person at the DCA Licensing Center at the address above between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.