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The City of Philadelphia has a number of licensing requirements for starting a business, many of which must be updated regularly.Licensing and permit requirements differ by business type.

Business Licenses issued by the Philadelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections

An Activity License is needed to conduct business within Philadelphia. It was formerly known as the Business Privilege License. Prior to applying for any additional business licenses in the City of Philadelphia, you will first need to obtain an Activity License. This includes businesses that are located outside the city limits but do some or all of their business activity in the City.

There are three types of Activity Licenses that you will need to select: Commercial, Non-Profit and 2-4 Unit Owner-Occupied Housing.

To obtain a license online:

1.You must have a City of Philadelphia Tax Account number before you can obtain a Commercial Activity License. Using Internet Explorer 5.0 or better, you can apply for the Business Income and Receipts Tax ID online. Once you have a Tax Account number, you can then use the eClipse system to apply online.
2.If you already have a City of Philadelphia Tax Account Number, and need only the Commercial Activity License, apply online with the eCLIPSE system.
3.NOTE: Applicants wishing to apply for a Commercial Activity License online will need to register with the eCLIPSE system, which requires users to have an email address. In-person applications submitted at the License and Inspections counter at the Municipal Services Building also require an email address.


  • Source Phialdelphia Department of Licenses and Inspections
  • Updated Daily