Q: 1. I'm a musician. Do I need a (police) 'permit' to sell tickets and play live gigs in my California apartment?

I'm a musician. I play live solo acoustic guitar some evenings in my apartment for friends and friends of friends etc. All my sets are cover songs from various artists. I receive many requests that differ on each evening of course. Each guest usually contributes between $10 - $20. Some evenings I earn over $200.

1. I have become aware that I 'may' need to pay a Pro (or even 3 Pros) to continue. As the sets differ each evening the effort required to determine which Pro to pay how much is a daunting admin task. Is there not an easy solution to this dilemma?

2. I live in California. I've had no complaints from neighbours - some of whom are regular guests actually. Am I required to apply for a permit to play live music in my own residential apartment?

3. I bring joy to many folks but is what I am doing in any other way illegal?

I appreciate your consideration

1 Lawyer Answer
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
  • Real Estate Law Lawyer
  • Brooklyn, NY
  • Licensed in California

A: You may be violating your lease, zoning, and/or licensing laws relating to music venues. You may need contracts with the additional musicians. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AEesq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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