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Apply for a Fortune Tellers License

License Commission

Fortune Teller's Licenses are issued by the Cambridge License Commission pursuant to Massachusetts General Law (MGL) ch. 140 sec. 185i. It typically takes four to six weeks for an application to the be processed, and if approved, for a license to be issued.

How to Start

Step 1:

The applicant should go to the Online Application Portal and complete the Fortune Teller application online.

and submit with: 

  • a signed lease or letter of intent from the landlord
  • an 8 ½ x 11 floor plan; 
  • completed  Criminal Record Information Form(s) for the applicant, owner(s) of the business, manager of the business, and all employees of the business; 
  • copy of the Licenses for all other Fortune Tellers at that location; 

Step 2:

The application will be review by License Commission staff for completeness and accuracy. Inspectional Service Department (ISD) Staff will review to confirm proper zoning.  

Step 3:

Once reviewed, the applicant will then be asked to submit a $175 hearing and advertisement fee. You will receive notice of the hearing date. At the hearing, testimony from the applicant and any interested party will be taken. Persons in support or opposition to the application have an opportunity to speak at the hearing as well. The Board's vote on the application will be made known to the applicant and public at a hearing, and to the applicant via correspondence with any further instructions for fulfilling outstanding requirements.

Step 3:

Notify the Abutters which include the persons/businesses (the assessed owners of the properties) whose boundaries touch the boundaries of the premises (front, back, left and right), and any schools, churches or hospitals within 500 feet. You must notify the abutters prior to the hearing. You are required to bring a completed Affidavit of Notice to Abutters and Others along with the Certified Mail Receipts and Proof of Service Receipts to the hearing.

ADVERTISEMENT- Notice to Abutters


Step 4:

After the applicant fulfills all post-hearing requirements and submits all necessary paperwork, the annual fee for the license must be tendered for the license to be issued.


  • All persons licensed as Fortune Tellers must comply with all of the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and any applicable Rules and Policies established by the License Commission.
  • If the License is granted, you must personally come to the License Commission to pay for it and pick it up. The License must be posted at the place of business in a conspicuous place prior to being able to operate.
  • Fortune Teller Licenses are effective from May 1st of a given year through April 30th of the following year. They must be renewed annually by the end of April. Licenses not properly renewed expire and, if sought to reinstate, are subject to late fees, suspension and/or cancellation. Annual fees are $50.00. 
  • Fortune Teller Licenses are issued to an individual for a particular location and only allow that individual to operate under the License for that particular location. If the person is telling fortunes at multiple locations within the City of Cambridge, that person must obtain a License for each location. If other persons are telling fortunes at the same location, those persons must obtain their own License. 
  • Fortune Teller Licenses are not transferable or assignable. 
Page was last modified on 4/16/2024 4:08 PM
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