Licenses & Permits
Any establishment in the City of Gloucester operating an automatic amusement device is required to obtain a yearly Arcade License. Licenses are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
For more information on obtaining an Arcade License, please contact the City Clerk's office at 978-281-9720.
Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 110, Sec. 5, a business certificate is required for: 1). Any person, whether individually or as a partnership, conducting business under any other title other than the complete real name of the owners; or, 2). Any corporation doing business in a name other than its corporate name (the certificate must be completed and filed by a corporate officer).
The application for a business certificate is now started online. After completing the online form, you will be notified once the application is approved and ready for the final step (this review and approval process may take up to 3-5 business days). At that time, all parties listed on the business certificate must come to the City Clerk's office to sign the business certificate. All required signatures must be notarized - this will be done at the City Clerk's office.
Businesses that are in a residential property require a letter of authorization from the landlord if the applicant does not own the property. The city requires all business locations to be approved by the Building Commissioner prior to issuance of a Business Certificate. Also, a business certificate does not give you permission to operate your business; it only registers the name. It is your responsibility to obtain all appropriate permits and/or licenses for your business from the building department, licensing authority, and board of health.
Business Certificates are valid for four (4) years from the date of issuance, unless sooner revoked or discontinued. A change to the name of the business will require the discontinuance of the current business certificate and the filing of a new business certificate under the new name.
Fees: $100.00 for a business certificate; $10.00 to discontinue
Cinemas operating in the City of Gloucester are required to obtain a yearly Cinema License, subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
For more information on obtaining a Cinema License, please contact the City Clerk's office at 978-281-9720.
CITY COUNCIL SPECIAL PERMIT
Under the Gloucester Zoning Code, the City Council is a special permit granting authority for a variety of projects regulated by the Zoning Ordinance. Permits granted can range from major projects such as shopping centers to specialized projects such as assisted living facilities and can also include small projects by an individual such as a dock to an individual’s residence.
All applications for City Council Special Permits must be approved as complete and filed with the office of the City Clerk by the end of business hours (4:00 PM) on the Wednesday before the next City Council Meeting.
Fee: $350.00 (Click here for Major Project application fees)
CLASS I, II, III LICENSE
Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, Sec. 58, anyone in the business of purchasing and selling new motor vehicles (Class I), purchasing and selling second-hand motor vehicles (Class II), or purchasing secondhand vehicles for remodeling, rebuilding, or selling for parts (Class III) is required to obtain a yearly license.
Class I, II, III licenses are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
For more information on obtaining a Class I, II, III license, please contact the City Clerk's office at 978-281-9720.
JUNK/SECONDHAND ARTICLE/ANTIQUE DEALER LICENSE
Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, Secs. 202-205 and Gloucester Code of Ordinances Chapter 19, every person keeping a shop for the purchase, sale or barter of junk, antiques, old metals or secondhand articles must obtain a yearly license.
Junk/Secondhand Article/Antique dealer licenses are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
POOL TABLES/SIPPIO TABLES/BILLIARD TABLES/BOWLING LANE LICENSES
Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 140, Secs. 177-180 and Secs. 202-205 and Gloucester Code of Ordinances Chapter 3, establishments operating pool tables, billiard tables, sippio tables or bowling lanes for public hire, to be used for amusement and not for the purpose of gaming for money or property, must be licensed.
Pool Tables/Sippio Tables/Billiard Tables/Bowling Lane Licenses are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
Fee: $100 per Pool, Billiard & Sippio Table; $100 per Bowling Lane
Prior to submitting an application for a raffle permit, an applicant should first review the Massachusetts guidelines on raffles to ensure they are eligible for a permit. Eligible applicants must complete a raffle permit application in its entirety and bring it to the City Clerk’s office along with a copy of their organization’s 501(c)(3) designation and a letter of authorization from the organization giving you permission to fund-raise on their behalf. The cost is $25.00. Do not go directly to the Police Station with your application.
Fee: $25.00 ($10.00 for a renewal)
SPECIAL EVENT PERMIT
The Special Events Advisory Committee meets the first Thursday of each month. Meeting dates are subject to change. The City Council Planning and Development Standing Committee must approve all street closures. Applications that require street closures should be filed at least eight weeks in advance of the event.
Fee: $50.00 for for-profit organizations; $25.00 for non-profit organizations (non-profit organization must submit their 501(c)(3) with the application)
STREET PERFORMER/BUSKING LICENSE
Under GCO Ch. 3, Sec. 3-15(c), A juggler, street musician or other such street entertainer must obtain a permit. Permits are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
TAG DAY/CANNING PERMIT
Individuals or organizations selling articles for charitable purposes may be granted a special permit authorizing them to sell items on a particular day. Permits are subject to the approval of the Licensing Commission.
TAXICAB/PRIVATE LIVERY OPERATOR APPLICATION
Applicants for a license to operate a taxicab or private livery vehicle must bring a completed form and a current driver’s license to the City Clerk’s office.
The cost of the license is $50.00 (payable at the time of issuance) and is valid from the date of issuance until December 30th of the current year.
Worker’s permit applications must be completed and returned to the Principal’s office at the Gloucester High School. The City Clerk’s office does not accept/process completed forms.