Have a Tent or Temporary Structure

If you plan to have tents on site at your event and they are 120 square feet or larger, you will need to acquire a building permit. This can be obtained through the Department of Economic Development and Planning, Building Safety department located at:

316 N Capitol Avenue
Suite C-1
Lansing, MI 48933
Phone: 517-483-4155 or 517-483-4355

The staff will explain what needs to be done and how to fill out the building application.

Michigan Building Code

  • Tents are classified as membrane structures that are regulated by section 3102 Michigan Building Code 2009 (MBC) and Chapter 24 of the International Fire Code. To temporarily occupy a tent (or tents) larger than 120 square feet you must first obtain a Building Permit as required by section 3103.1.1 MBC.
    • 3103.1.1 Permit required. Temporary structures that cover an area in excess of 120 square feet, including connecting areas or spaces with a common means of egress, or entrance which are used or intended to be used for the gathering together of 10 or more persons, shall not be erected, operated or maintained for any purpose without obtaining a permit from the building official.
  • In addition, A copy of the tents Flame Retardant Treatment Certificate must be submitted. On-site inspection of the site is to be arranged with the Lansing Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office

Special Event Permit Application

Download and submit the Special Event Permit Application (PDF) to apply for a special event permit.

By submitting your request does not guarantee your event will be approved. All requests are subject to event day availability.