Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Staying Legal as a Busker

Is it worth it? Well sure, I guess it is if you are going to stay local. But, my hopes, and what others have done, it to travel while making money with my photography and music. So, the trip that I am taking to Las Vegas late next week has grown in importance to me. I need to talk to street entertainers that are working on The Strip to see if they have purchased the licenses and permits to do it legally. I tend to think that most of them have not purchased licenses and permits. However, if the city decides to put the squeeze on street entertainers it will be the un-licensed and un-permitted that are hassled first. And, that could mean heavy fines and jail time. Still, unless you gain a reputation for harassing people for money, or causing other kinds of problems, I doubt that the city of Las Vegas clean the streets unless there gets to be too many street entertainers. Talk to local buskers to see if you need to do the paperwork. Some cities don't worry about street entertainers unless their city budget is in a pinch. If it is required and you don't take the time and spend the money to get the licenses and permits it is you that will pay the penalties.

What I have found so far:

I will need a state business license for peddlers or street vendors. Price = $200.00.

I will need a city permit. Price = $50.00/week or $150.00/month.

I will need a $5,000.00 surety bond. Price = unknown.

I will need a work card. Price = unknown.

It appears that the paperwork should take a couple of hours to fill out. Most of it, at least, can be done on-line. There is a 10 review period for the city to decide whether to issue the license or not. But, from past experiences of dealing with the Nevada and Las Vegas governments I would say that it would be safe to figure it will be 30 days before you finally get legal to work. I spent 6 months of 2010 in Las Vegas. Well over a month of that was trying to meet city requirements to go to work.

To find out what licenses and permits you will need to conduct your business you will need to “search” for licenses and permits in the city you plan to work in. Example: City of Las Vegas, Nevada licenses and permits.

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