City of Tacoma Tax & License
6B.70 Entertainment & Dancing –Alcohol Served
The purpose of this license is to regulate the operation of entertainment and dancing for the
protection of the public welfare, health, and safety of those that attend and patronize these
A. Requiring licenses for entertainment or dancing establishments where alcohol is served;
B. Requiring reports to the Fire Marshal;
C. Requiring reports to the Police Chief; and
D. Requiring security personnel to be licensed when an entertainment or dancing establishment
uses security personnel to provide crowd control; protect persons or property from harm or
unlawful activity; deter, observe, or detect unlawful or unauthorized activity; or supervise entry
and exit at the establishment.
Before engaging in this business activity, you will need approval.
The business activity of Entertainment and Dancing with Alcohol served requires review by
other City departments including; Building and Land Use Permitting, Fire, Police and Zoning
You need to submit your license application and fee and any required supplemental prior to
engaging in business to the Tax & License office. The license will be routed to the appropriate
City departments for review. Please allow up to 30 days for approval of your license.
License Fee First Year Renewal
Entertainment Establishment Class “A” $2400 $600
Entertainment Establishment Class “B” $450 $300
Entertainment Establishment Class “C” $180 $120
Security Personnel $50 $50
Forms required before operating:
Certificate of Registration and Licensing
Written Safety Plan – must be submitted every year with license renewal.
Security Personnel: Each security personnel working at the establishment must consent
to be fingerprinted for criminal background check, apply for Security Personnel license,
and submit one current 2”x2” full-face photograph.
For specific questions regarding other City requirements, call:
For questions regarding your license application, the written safety plan, call Tax &
License at 253-591-5252.
Building and Land Use Permitting 253-591-5033
Fire Marshal 253-591-5740
Nightlife Best Practices
Know your Noise Ordinances
Commercial music-Sound levels associated with commercial music cannot be more than six
decibels above background noise levels as measured within a dwelling. In addition, commercial
music cannot be plainly audible from a distance of 100 feet or more from the property line of
Residents wishing to report a noise issue can call Tacoma CARES at (253) 591-5001;
emergency situations should be reported to 911. Civil complaints will be investigated by Building
and Land Use Services and criminal investigations will be performed by the Tacoma Police
For complete definitions and rules on Noise control, see Tacoma Municipal Code Chapter
Know your Liquor Laws
You will need a liquor license to operate; liquor licenses are issued by the Washington State
Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) for more information contact the WSLCB at 360-664-1600 or
visit their website at www.liq.wa.gov. Types of conducts prohibited on a liquor-licensed premise
can be found at WAC 314-11-050.
Know your Smoking Laws
Washington State law (RCW 70.160) prohibits smoking in all workplaces including bars and
restaurants. Smoking is not allowed inside public spaces, places of employment or outside
within 25 feet of doors and windows. Businesses who allow smoking may be fined and face
legal action. No smoking signs must be clearly posted at all establishments.
For more information on this law, contact the Tacoma Pierce-County Health Department Miae
Aramori for a resource kit at (253) 798-3765 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions concerning
compliance, you may contact Renée Avelino at (253) 798-2831 or email@example.com.
Use your best judgment when hiring employees, perform background and reference checks. At
a minimum, you can obtain a simple criminal conviction background check via the Washington
State Patrol for a $10 fee. Request online at www.watch.wsp.wa.gov or contact the State Patrol
Make sure any event promoters hold a valid City of Tacoma Business license. To verify call Tax
& License at 253-591-5252. Be sure to check promoter’s references. You may place your
business at risk by turning it over to an unlicensed, inexperienced or unscrupulous promoter.
Be sure to require a written, fully executed contract with your event promoter. Liability stays
with you and your establishment including occupancy limits, contraband, weapons behavior,
levels of intoxications, admission tax, finances and over limits.