Insurance, Permits and Legal Obligations



  • Insurance – Please be advised the Philanthropic Center for the Arts dba The Vortex insurance covers our company specifically, and does not cover you during your event. If you wish to reduce your own exposure to liability during the event, you will need to obtain your own personal coverage. Many insurance companies will add a ‘rider’ to your existing business insurance (if you have this) for a small fee, allowing you to do a remote event safely. Sometimes you can "piggyback" your insurance onto another company like a catering, sound or film company. Companies that insure film projects, mobile recordinsg, etc. have short-term deals they can tell you about. It’s not difficult to find short-term insurance if you ask around. Our clients have most often used eventhelper.com. We require clients to buy insurance only for high-risk events. For most events, it is optional.

  • Alcoholic Beverage Consumption – If you want to serve or sell alcoholic beverages – you need to obtain permits. There is NO “loophole” for a donation bar. Even serving FREE alcoholic beverages requires a license if the event is open to the public. Political parties and nonprofit organizations are eligible for one-day licenses. If you are not affiliated with such a group, you might contact Jeff Norman about the possibility of working with HomeFront Rising in connection with your event. You can contact the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) directly. Click here to download the application form for a daily license. The application must be received within ten (10) days of the event, but should not be submitted more than thirty (30) days in advance.

You can collect money two ways:

1) As a business licensed by the City of Los Angeles.

2) For a nonprofit in good standing, temporary information cards are available through the City of Los Angeles.

Collecting money for a non-profitYOU HAVE TWO OPTIONS:

1) Business License.      

2) Charitable Services Information Card.

For information on how to obtain an information card.

Allow yourself a minimum of two weeks to obtain information card and be prepared to pay a small fee.

  • Dances – Need a “Dance Hall” Permit. We do not have one. No dancing to music is legal without one for public events. There are NO all ages Temporary Dance Hall Permits. You can obtain either an 18 and under or 18 and over Dance Hall Permit. Private Events are exempt. Nonprofits get a significant discount. Contact LAPD Vice 323-846-6510.
  • Special Use – One example would be a sit down dinner. That falls under “Banquet Hall”. You can license our space for one night as a banquet hall with permits from LAPD Vice and LAFD. If you feel your event may fall outside the categories listed don’t risk having it shut down! Call LAPD Vice 323-846-6510.If we suspect your event may be a “Special Event” we will refer you to these agencies before considering awarding you with a date for your specific use.
  • Private Events – A private event is where no outside public is granted admittance and where you would not need permits especially the ABC license. You will need to have the names of the persons attending along with the names of their invited guests beforehand. Persons not named on the list shall not be granted access to the event. If any persons not on the list are granted access it is then deemed a public event and the necessary permits are required. Here is the relevant section of code:
  • Section 23399.1 Business and Professions Code. No license or permit shall be required for the serving and otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages where all of the following conditions prevail:

• That there is no sale of an alcoholic beverage.

• That the premises are not open to the general public during the time alcoholic beverages are served, consumed or otherwise disposed of.

• That the premises are not maintained for the purpose of keeping, serving, consuming, or otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages (see Section 25604 B&P Bottle Clubs). Provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any person to violate any provision of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.

NOTE: The purchase of drink tickets, admittance tickets, mandatory donations and or tips entitling a person to an alcoholic drink constitutes a sale, and a license is required.

LAPD will probably have undercover officers attempt to gain entry into your event and check to see that your event is following the legal definition of a “Private Party.” Also most importantly they will check that there is absolutely no sale of alcoholic beverages. If there is any permit violation they will likely arrest you for the violation.

This section is only intended to be a guideline. We are neither required nor qualified to inform you of all applicable laws or provide you with legal advice. Contact the appropriate City, County or State agencies for additional information and guidance. To allow time for due diligence and proper permitting ALL events must be booked 30 days in advance. Absolutely no exceptions will be made if your event needs additional permitting that we do not hold. Original copies of this permitting must be presented to our management NO LATER than 48 hours before your event or it will be cancelled.