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Did you know that you need a raffle license if you plan to conduct raffles to raise money for a charity or benefit? Many types of organizations hold raffles, including:

  • Churches
  • Nonprofits
  • Service Organizations
  • Veterans’ Organizations

If your organization takes payment for tickets that give buyers the opportunity to win a prize, and you will select one (or more) tickets to choose winners, you need a raffle license.

The Raffle License Process

You can get a copy of the raffle license application from your city’s business licenses, permits & tax division. The form will ask details about your business or organization, as well as the raffle. You may be asked to specify which type of raffle license you want: in Wisconsin, there are two types:

  • Type A: tickets are sold on days other than when the drawing will be held
  • Type B: tickets are sold on the day of the drawing

You’ll be asked what type of organization you run, and may be required to produce certain documentation. For example, if your raffle is for a school, you’ll need a letter from the principal authorizing raffle fundraising and allowing children to participate. If you’re with a church, you may need to provide a current worship bulletin.

You’ll have to identify a raffle chairperson on the business license. This would be the person in charge of the raffle who can be contacted if there are questions.

In the raffle license, you’ll be asked for the times and dates of the drawings for the raffle, as well as to list out the prizes you’ll give away. There may be restrictions on what you can and cannot give away with your raffle, so check with the business license division before investing time in securing prizes.

The Purpose of a Raffle License

Your state requires a raffle license to ensure that all raffles are legal. There have been cases where people took money for raffle tickets, but never gave away prizes. Filling out a raffle license ensures that the state knows what you’re giving away and when you’re giving it away, thus protecting your raffle customers.

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