View Full Version : Besides fire Marshall approval, what eles is needed?

04-12-2008, 06:59 AM
I am in the process of opening a haunted factory, I have already talked to the Fire marshall, what other permits or licenses do most haunted houses need? I know it vary's by state and town, but basically

04-12-2008, 07:25 AM
I have a permanent location, but I am only open 13 nights a year. I am required to have a special events permit which is issued by my county's building codes enforcement division. In order to obtain the permit and open my haunt, I have to pass building, fire and electrical inspections each year. In some jurisdictions you may be required to obtain a certificate of occupancy vs. a special events permit. As you mention, requirements vary by jurisdiction. Contact your local building codes enforcement division and make sure you have all of your bases covered before opening. Nothing worse than being shut down! You will also need liability insurance for your event.

04-13-2008, 05:03 AM
Thanks for the info, Ill do that, i did check into ins. I,ve got another question, Can a town refuse to give you a permit even tho u have all the required elements?
I mean can they deside they just do want a haunted house?

04-13-2008, 05:16 AM
The answer is yes. If you are not wanted, you can be refused the permits. I have heard stories were potential haunt owners have been told point blank by city officials that "we do not want a haunt in our jurisdiction."

04-13-2008, 05:23 AM
Well now that I think about it , this town has two strip clubs ,so Maybe I dont have to worry lol ,

04-13-2008, 07:36 AM
Just sent you a PM...

RJ Productions
04-14-2008, 02:30 AM
Besides what what already suggested (building, electrical, fire, special events) you will need a basic business license, either a county or city license, usually a state license, a tax ID number, plus you need a DBA for your business and possibly or your event. You see it's quite simple... the more permits, the more money!!!

I had a permit once that was for $500. When I asked the clerk what the purpose of the permit was I was told..."It's $500" I know what it costs, but what is it for? "It's for $500!!!"

We do not charge a sales tax for admission tickets, but to get other permits you need the state license which is a sales tax permit. So each year the state would have to issue us a letter that stated we were exempt from the sales tax (unless you sell t-shirts etc). After a few years of this the state just decides it's easier to charge us than give us a letter. So now we need a permit no matter, and it costs a $100! We're still exempt, now just exempt for $100!! It's a legal way to "print money".

04-14-2008, 04:41 AM
I am finding out quickly that everyone has a hand out. thank you all for the info it helps.

04-17-2008, 03:51 AM
are these charges, mentioned above, a yearly thing?
how long does it take to get various permits/paper work approved?
when should someone start getting the paper work process in motion (as soon as they find a builiding, about halfway before the show opens?)

04-17-2008, 05:19 PM
Jason, That is way, way, way too late. What if you aren't approved? All that time, money and effort would be wasted. Actually, in most cases you need approval before you commit to the building. Why sign a lease, make a deposit and start setting things up only to find that you are going to have problems with permits?

04-25-2008, 09:33 PM
I've come to realize part of the reason business' pay for permits is to stop other small business' from coming along and being able to afford to compete. It's like that type of pine tree that drops poisonous needles to stop any other tree from growing near it. Companies hate paying the tax/ fees themselves, but in effect, it's "protection money" charged by the government instead of the mob. Every year the price seems to go up, and the fees that are added to business utilities are truely amazing. It's always $400 a month just to be hooked up to utilities, and that's assuming you hardly every run them! But it is what it is. I guess they feel pretty sure Haunts are one business that can't flee to China... though I've been learning to eat with chop sticks just in case I get the chance.

04-27-2008, 08:42 AM
It all depends on the area you live in. I had always heard the stories like the ones in this post and tried to call around to the county office. They told me i only need a permit if I build a temp or permanent structure that was not already there. She gave a band stage as an example. Because I am in a barn I donít have any permits to buy. When I tried to get a fire marshal out here no one would return my calls for months and I kept getting the run around as to who actually is over my area. So basically other than standard state business stuff, I havenít had to do anything. I am sticking to all the life safety rules anyway, for an overall safe visit and just in case they change their minds and want to come out to inspect.