Carnival and circus

The City licenses carnivals and circuses.


We define a carnival as a traveling show with:

  • Acts
  • Games
  • Vending machines
  • Amusement rides

We define a circus as a traveling show with:

  • Acrobats
  • Clowns
  • Entertainers
  • Trained animals
Carnival ride in motion

License application

In Minneapolis, carnivals and circuses must be licensed. Before operating carnivals and circuses, the owner or operator must apply for a business license.

Carnival - A traveling show with acts, games, vending machines or amusement rides.  

Children’s Rides - Any animal used to power a vehicle or give rides to children.

Circus - A traveling show with acrobats, clowns, entertainers or trained animals.

How to submit application

Submit your application to Business Licenses & Consumer Services:

  • By email
  • By U.S. mail
  • In person

Before you begin

Before you begin, look at our instructions about how to apply for a business license.

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Health Department

Environmental Health




Public Service Center
505 Fourth Ave S, Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415