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  • Writer's pictureCustom Tents

Can I Install an Event Tent Without a Permit?

Updated: Mar 14

The short answer is to always double check with your local municipality. Every city has their own set of regulations for tents of all sizes. Also, keep in mind whether the tent be installed on state property or on private grounds? If the tent will be installed on public property, then you will need a permit for the extent of time you will have your tent installed. Double check with city officials if you'll need a permit from your city, county or state for your specific purposes. As for private property, it will depend on the venue.

What are the nuances for tents to be treated differently? Tents are considered semi-permanent structures under certain city codes, so in some cases, a permit is required. This is all subject to your state, county and city. If you will be installing your tent overnight or for a week on private property, the chances are that you will be fine but again, always double check!

So what about very big tents? Since most tents are 20x20 or smaller there are rarely any requirements from city officials to install such sizes. Permits are mostly required when tents are larger than usual. If you are uncertain about the local regulation then have your tent provider help you figure it out or call a local tent company who will know your town's laws regarding tents and semi permanent structures.

20x40 Custom Canopy: iHop Outdoor Dining
20x40 Custom Canopy: iHop Outdoor Dining

Securing your tent

Installing your tent securely is very important for you to be approved when you install your tent. This is especially important for very windy areas. Some sites require that tent installations have a site and evacuation plan. In some cases you will also need structural calculations from an engineering firm to certify a site specific tent installation and tethering plan. Acquiring tent installation calculations can add a week or two to the tent ordering process since it takes time for an independent firm to certify your tent installation and tethering plans.

What is the safest way to secure a tent? There are multiple tools you can use to secure your tent and they are all site specific and dependent on whether you can tie it down or bolt it down to secure it. Of course, if you have questions, let us know and we will help you break it all down.

  • K-Rails (for larger tents)

  • Eye bolts (for medium to large tents)

  • 3 Foot Stakes (for medium to large tents)

  • Cement Ballast (for small to medium tents)

Fire Certification

One other thing you will have to consider when purchasing or renting a tent will be fire certification for your tent. Your local fire marshal will ask you for it. Every tent we manufacture is 100% fire certified (NFPA-701). We even attach our fire certification to every tent we manufacture so that if fire marshals ask you for certification you can walk them over to the sealed fire cert on your tent during the inspection. We are located in California and are subject to the strictest fire regulations in the nation. Of course, if you have further questions we are here to help.


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