Q: What is a Theatrical Booking Agent?

A: A theatrical booking agent is any person who holds himself out as an agent of a person who seeks employment as an entertainer. Entertainers represented by theatrical booking agents may include actors, actresses, musicians or others undertaking a "theatrical engagement.".. G.L. c. 140, §180A.

Q: What is a "theatrical engagement"?

A: A "theatrical engagement" is any engagement or employment of a person as an actor, performer or entertainer in a circus, agricultural fair, vaudeville, banquet and other stage performances, stage productions in theaters, including floor shows, so called, in restaurants, clubs, bars and taverns, , tents, arenas, halls and similar places of amusement. G.L. c. 140, §180A.

Q: Do I need to obtain a license?

A: Yes. If you work for a performer as his or her agent, you must obtain a license. Under G.L. c. 140, §180B,

Q: What happens if I act as a booking agent without a license?

A: Under G.L. c. 140, §180B, you may be fined for up to $500, or imprisoned up to one year, or both.

Q: How do I obtain a Theatrical Booking Agents license?


1. First, please complete the Theatrical Booking Agents, Personal Agents and Managers License packet, available at http://www.mass.gov/dps. Please include the following with your application:

a. A completed application. This is a one page form requiring general information about you and your business.

b. One legible copy of a government issued picture identification that includes a signature.

c. One copy of your "Articles of Organization" for submission to the Department. This is the paperwork that you filled out in order to operate your booking agency as a limited liability business in Massachusetts. It was likely one of your first steps before opening your booking agency. Simply copy these pages, and include them with your application.

d. One copy of your business certificate and proof of zoning approval. These are also papers that you should already have in your records. You need only make a copy to send with your application.

e. Two (2) affidavits or recommendations from two (2) reputable Massachusetts citizens. The recommendations should verify your reputation.

f. A complete Bond Form. This form has the heading "Bond for License as Theatrical Booking Agent Personal Agent and Manager." You will take this form to your insurance company for their approval. Once the form has been completed with your insurance company, you will submit it to the Department with the rest of your application.

g. A copy of a surety bond in the amount of $1,000. You will receive this when you fill out the Bond Form with your insurance company. The surety bond should be payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

h A completed Notice Form and proof of newspaper publication. You can request the proof directly from your newspaper company.

2. Complete and sign a "CORI Request Form." This form authorizes the Department to request a copy of your criminal record from the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) . You may obtain the form by requesting one from the Department.

3. Submit a check or money order for $375.00 made out to The Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The fee is non-refundable.

Q: Where do I send the completed application?

A: Send the completed application to:

Department of Public Safety - Theatrical Booking
One Ashburton Place Room 1301
Boston, Massachusetts 02108

Q: Will the Department accept credit card payment or cash for the fee?

A: No. The Department can only accept checks or money orders.

Q: May I fax my application to be a theatrical booking agent to the Department?

A: No. The Department requires original documents unless specifically provided otherwise.

Q: May I drop off applications or other paperwork in person?

A: Yes. However, materials that are submitted in person are not processed the same day. They are not processed any faster than materials submitted by mail. Therefore, you are advised to submit applications and other paperwork by mail.

Q: Is the CORI request form necessary?

A: Yes. All applicants for a theatrical booking license must consent to a criminal background check as a condition of licensure.

Q: How will the Department consider my CORI report?

A: There are three major categories of licensure qualification based on the information found in the CORI report: no record, discretionary disqualification, and presumptive disqualification. No record indicates that the applicant has no record of offenses, and is suitable for licensure as far as the CORI requirement. To determine which offenses qualify an applicant for discretionary disqualification (the applicant is initially ineligible, but the Department may consider mitigating circumstances), or presumptive disqualification (an applicant is illegible for licensure).

Q: Why must I include two affidavits from Massachusetts citizens?

A: G.L. c. 140, §180C requires the written submission of two reputable citizens of the Commonwealth to attest to your good moral character before you may obtain a theatrical booking agent's license.

Q: Who can provide the recommendations/ affidavits of character for my application?

A: The two recommenders must be 1) citizens of the Commonwealth, and 2) reputable. The law provides no other limitations on who may recommend you. G.L. c. 140, §180C.

Q: Why do I need bond?

A: The bond ensures that a party injured by your action will have access to monitored funds for recovery. The funds will be paid by your insurer. You need the bond to cover your liability in case of such an injury. G.L. c. 140, §180F. You are required to establish the bond as part of your application for license under G.L. c. 140, §180E.

Q: What is the bond requirement?

A: G.L. c. 140, §180E requires that you must submit a $1,000 surety bond for your license.

Q: How do I complete the bond form?

A: Bring the form to your insurance company. They will help you fill it out and seal their approval. You should then submit the form with a copy of the surety bond to the Department.

Q: Do I need to notify anyone that I am becoming a licensed Theatrical Booking Agent?

A: Yes. This is why you are required to fill out the Notice Form with your local newspaper and submit proof of publication to the Department. Under G.L. c. 140, §180C, the newspaper notice will run for one (1) day, and will inform people in your county that you are to be a Theatrical Booking Agent in the area. The Department will not issue your license until 10 days after the notice has run.

Q: How do I fill out the Notice form?

A: You must bring the Notice form to your local newspaper or any major newspaper that serves your area.. They will fill out the form, and you may request proof of publication from them. You must then submit a copy of both the form and the proof of publication to the Department.

Q: Is there a charge for publishing the newspaper notice?

A: Generally, yes. The cost of the legal advertisement varies depending on the newspaper you select. Under G.L. c. 140, §180C, you are responsible for paying the expenses for publishing the notice.

Q: What is the next step after I have submitted my application and completed all of the necessary steps?

A: The Department will contact you to schedule a hearing date. If at the hearing the Department finds that you are suitable for licensure, you will be issued your theatrical booking license immediately following the hearing.

Q: If I am denied a license, may I appeal the decision?

A: Yes. You may file an appeal in Superior Court. G.L. c. 30A, §14.

Q: Do I need to complete the application process again to renew my license?

A: Yes. Under G.L. c. 140, §180C, you must complete the entire application process again, including the surety bond requirement and fee.