Areas are zoned for commercial or residential use. To ensure your project complies with state and local building codes, a certificate of inspection is issued. Basically, an existing building or a newly erected structure is eligible for inspection but have not yet been approved for residency or business use. When the certificate of inspection is approved, a certificate of occupancy will be issued.

A certificate of occupancy, or certification of occupancy, is essentially the stamp of approval from a local government entity stating that the residential structure has passed all necessary building codes and is approved for occupancy or business use.

It is often required to obtain a certificate of inspection and certification of occupancy with each and every upgrade and additions made to current structures.

Though each state’s building codes will vary here is a basic checklist in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy:

  1. Complete the necessary application paperwork and submit it to the building inspection division for your county.
  2. Provide copies of the building or expansion plans.
  3. Pay the permit fee.

In some cases, if a structure has failed approval but it considered safe for operations; a conditional certificate of occupancy can be issued that gives the business a specific timeframe to remain open for operations so long as the codes that failed are being corrected.

Once the issues are completed a letter is written from the operations manager or CEO requesting a new certificate of inspection.

Confirm with your local county the appropriate parties to contact to have a certificate of inspection or certification of occupancy issued prior to beginning any work on a new building project.