How to get a Philly rental license on Eclipse

How to get a Philly rental license on Eclipse

Please note, these are instructions for how to get a NEW license, using the eclipse system, once you have already obtained a Philadelphia Tax ID and Commercial Activity License. If you have not already obtained these items, please see our previous blog posts on how to do so. 

Please note: The city’s site and regulations seem to change frequently. This information is accurate as of June, 2024. 

Welcome to the exiting world of electronic paperwork that you are about to embark on!

  1. Go to the eclipse system and log in.
  2. Click Register for a new business license
  3. Click next
  4. This should bring you to a screen with a dropdown menu. You will need to choose your commercial activity license from this menu. If you are beginning landlord, you should see just one commercial activity license here. Make sure the name on the commercial activity license listed matches the name the city has on record as owner of the property.  For example, if you purchased the property in your personal name, you cannot hold the rental license in an LLC. You can check the exact name on record here:
  5. Fill in the radial dials, answering each question. Typically for most rental properties, the first question will be a yes, and the rest no. Be sure to answer each question as applies to you
  6. Click next. The system will then generate another question in the middle of the list to verify if is it is an owner occupied property. Click next. 
  7. You will be asked to choose a license type. Choose address based. Then click on “rental” from the list. It doesn’t look clickable, but surprise,  it is! Click next.
  8. Choose the option for new business site. Click next. 
  9. Type in the address. A little window will pop up. You will be asked to select the official address from a menu that you may not be able to see without scrolling down in the little window. Scroll down to find it if it is hidden. Highlight the address and click. Click next, 
  10.  Type in your mailing address. Click next.
  11.  Type your name or business name and phone number. Click next
  12.  Enter your contact information, including phone number or property manager contact info. Be sure to choose a phone “type” from the dropdown menu or your application won’t go through at the end. 
  13. Type in the date that you expect to start renting your property in the format suggested. You may get an error message telling you to type the date in the format suggested, even if you have already done so. Just click next again and it typically goes through the second time. The error message is likely just there to me this process a little more difficult so only the strong survive. 
  14. Answer the question on the following page about occupancy. If you do not live in the city (yes, even if you just live across the street from the border) you will need to designate a managing agent within the city. We provide these services to our clients. If you just need an agent to receive and forward mail, we provide that service as well. Email for more information. 
  15.  Choose a “use classification”. This is likely “residential dwelling”. Click next
  16. At the next screen, you will be required to upload proof of ownership, and the rental license supplemental form. To access to form, click “open” and download the form to fill out. This form will ask you mostly the same questions you have already answered, because the city government just LOVES paperwork. Fill out that form and upload it Click next. 

OK! You are done! Now one of 3 things will typically happen

  • You are asked to pay a $20 fee. This is a great sign! Pay the fee and check your eclipse account in a few days to verify the license has been approved and download it. 
  • You will be asked to return to certain parts of the application because you missed something (not to bad)
  • You’ll get the dreaded tax clearance screen. This means there is some unknown problem with your application. We recommend the following possible remedies

    • Log into the Philadelphia Tax Center and see if there are any messages or unpaid fines, taxes, ect sitting there and take care of them. Then retry your application. 
    • Verify again that all 4 things match under the same name 1. Name register with Philadelphia BRT 2. Commercial Activity License 3. Tax ID 4. Rental license application
    • Try emailing tax clearance at the email provided and wait a week or so for a response.