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Benefit Performance License

What is a Benefit-Performance?

A Benefit Performance is an event conducted and operated by a bonafide non-profit organization within Montgomery County, the net proceeds of which are exclusively for the benefit of the organization. Benefit Performances include carnivals, fairs, picnics, dances, bazaars, concerts, card party, contest, barbecue or dinner and horse shows to which the public is invited or admission.

Any bonafide non-profit organization within the county will need a Benefit-Performance License to conduct a benefit performance.

Who Qualifies for a Benefit-Performance License?

Any bonafide non-profit organization within the county, or any company, association or body corporate, organized within the county.  A benefit performance must be managed by the organization that will benefit from it, and may be operated by or with a contractor of that organization.

What is the Benefit-Performance License Application Process?

A completed Benefit-Performance application must be submitted, along with a copy of the organization's federal tax exemption number and site plan delineating the performance area, including seating and/or vending booths if any.

When Should We Apply?

Prior to conducting a benefit performance, the sponsoring organization must make application for the license on the form provided.

Important Timelines for Submittal:

Applications should be submitted two weeks prior to the Benefit-Performance. However, licenses for carnivals should be submitted at least four weeks prior to the Benefit-Performance.  Licenses that require a Temporary Noise Waiver must be filed at least 21 days prior to the scheduled event.

What is the Benefit Performance Application Process?

Licenses are issued for each benefit performance.  Application may be obtained from the Department of Permitting Services, 255 Rockville Pike, 2nd Floor, Rockville, Maryland 20850, Call 311 (240-777-0311 outside Montgomery County) or go to:  Benefit Performance Application

  1. Review and complete the Application.
  2. A copy of the organization’s federal tax exemption number must be submitted with the application.
  3. Personnel with the Department of Permitting Services will discuss the county’s regulations with the applicant(s) by appointment call 311(240-777-0311 outside Montgomery County.)

A Benefit-Performance license may also require:

  • Electrical Permit
  • DPS Use and Occupancy Permit.
  • DPS Building Permit.
  • Noise Waiver from the Department of Environmental Protection, (240) 777-0311 or available online Temporary Noise Waiver  Note that a noise waiver application must be filed at least 21 days before the scheduled event.

Benefit-Performances may be subject to inspection and licensing requirements by the following county agencies:

  • If the Provision of food and beverages for public consumption with or without charge requires a Food Service Facility Permit.  Food Service Facility Fact Sheet available from the Department of Health. Call 311 (240-777-0311 outside Montgomery County.)
  • If you are conducting a Bingo game, applications for that activity are provided by the Department of Health.  Bingo Fact Sheet available call 311 (240-777-0311 outside Montgomery County.)
  • The selling of Alcoholic Beverages requires a license from the Board of License Commissioners.  Temporary Alcoholic Beverage Fact Sheet available from the Board of License Commissioners, call 311 (240-777-0311 outside Montgomery County.)
  • Other Special Event Permits may be applicable.  See MCFRS Fire Code Compliance for details or call 240-777-2457.

IMPORTANT – The Department of Permitting Services Must Have Proof of All Permits if Required, Before We Can Issue a Benefit Performance License.

General Notes:

Zoning Ordinance of the Maryland – Washington Regional District in Montgomery County, Section 59-A-6.5 Benefit Performances permitted under section 30-4 may be conducted in any zone; provided that:

(a)               No such performance may be conducted in any residential or C-0 or C-1 Zone for a period exceeding fifteen days for any one performance, nor be located within six hundred feet (600 feet) of any dwelling unless at least seventy-five percent (75%) of the occupants of any such dwellings within six hundred feet (600 feet) of such site consent to such performance in writing.

(b)               The provisions of subsection (a) above shall not apply to a benefit performance conducted upon property which is occupied by a private club operating in compliance with this chapter, a church a fire department, or public school or a nationally chartered service or veterans organization not organized for gain or profit of any individual member of such groups.

Use of Dice is Prohibited.

The license does not permit or authorize the awarding of prizes in money or the rewarding of the winner or winners or other participants in any game in money, or token redeemable in money.  Operation of any benefit performance  in violation thereof, upon conviction shall be subject to a fine up to $1000 or imprisonment up to 1 year, or both, in the discretion of the Court.  (Section 30-4, Montgomery County Code, 1972).

Application Package
Application Benefit Performance Application
  Electrical Application
  Use and Occupancy Application
  Building Permit Application
   Special Event Application
   Food Service Facility License Application
  Alcoholic Beverage License Application
Fees and Taxes
 Fee Schedule Executive Regulations for Fees
Credit Card Authorization Form Credit Card Authorization Form
No Bonds  
Codes, Standards, Executive Regulations
Chapter 59 Section A-6.5  Montgomery County Code
Guidelines, Memorandum of Understandings, Interpretations
None at this time  
Frequently Asked Questions
311 Web Portal: Enter key word "Benefit Performance"
Online Permitting Status Information and Inspections
Online Data Search Search DPS
Call for More Information
In Montgomery County 311
Outside of Montgomery County 240-777-0311
Other Agencies to Contact
Other Agencies and Utilities to Contact Allegheny Power
  Board of Appeals
  Historical Society
  International Code Council (ICC)
  Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
  Maryland Department of the Environment
  Maryland Division of State Documents
  MNCPPC: Historic Area Work Permits
  MNCPPC: MC Atlas
  MNCPPC: Zoning
  Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)
  U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
  Washington Gas Light Co.