Is it legal to be a street performer without a permit?


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Oct 28, 2023
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I have seen people performing on the streets of different countries, including the USA. My question is, is it legal to perform on the streets of the USA without a permit? I'm asking specifically for people who are not famous or rich. They're poor people but have dignity. They want to earn money by displaying their talent. Do such people also require any permits or licenses from the state?
United States
The regulations regarding street performances vary across different cities and states in the USA. In some places, permits may be required, while in others they may not be necessary. It is recommended for performers to check the local laws and requirements of the specific area where they intend to perform.
What @Debashis said is right. It will be different across the US. Sometimes permits are required, other times not.

I did a little research, and went with street performers in Los Angeles, with Hollywood in mind as an example of what you might expect. In Los Angeles it is legal to work as a street performer without a permit or license. Especially in the Hollywood area.

But, once you leave city limits, you may need a permit. Like in Santa Monica, which requires a permit for street performers.

I found this info from an article here -
I used to see a lot of street performers when I went to school and worked in Chicago. I never even thought about them needing a permit. The government is always wanting their cut of everything though.
Of course, you need a permit to perform on the street, this permit is often referred to as a busking or street performing permit. However, rules for permits can vary depending on the city or municipality. Many places require street performers to obtain a permit to ensure public safety, manage the use of public spaces, and maintain a sense of order. In some places, you even have to pay fees. The permits include designated performance areas, time restrictions, amplification rules, etc.
I'm sure it varies from region to region. Although busking is illegal in my town, I've never seen or read about it being enforced. Maybe it's one of those things that the city overlooks, as long as you're not bugging the people walking by.

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