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Attention: This page only contains information for commercial permitting requirements and documents. For information about single-family dwellings, two-family dwellings, or other small projects, visit the Residential Permits.

Do I need a commercial permit?

Requirements for permits can be found in NC General Statute 160A-417. All non-residential work including, but not limited to, the construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, movement to another site, removal, or demolition of any building or structure requires a permit. This requirement is regardless of cost and pertains to buildings or structures covered under the NC Sate Building Code.

A permit is needed for the following types of work:

  • Constructing, altering, repairing, moving, or demolishing any building or structure;
  • Installing, extending, altering, or repairing any heating or cooling system;
  • Installing electrical wiring, devices, appliances, or equipment;
  • Installing, extending, or repairing any plumbing system

Examples of work that requires a commercial permit include but are not limited to: 

  • Upfits for new businesses
  • Multi-family residential construction
  • All mechanical, electrical, or plumbing work occurring on a commercial property

See Commercial Work Requiring a Permit for additional information.

Many commercial building applicants meet with Development Services staff before submitting their application. Contact Development Services to find out about setting up a meeting.

Applying for a Permit

You may submit an application by emailing us at permits@townofchapelhill.org. Please review the commercial permit application checklist for details on all of the required documents for your submittal.

How long doe sit take to get a permit?

Applications that require building review have a 30 business day time frame for initial comments to be sent and 5 additional business days for permit preparation. Applications that don't require plan review and are only for the replacement of mechanical appliances, water heaters, or other trade only work have a 2 business day time-frame.

 


 

Application Forms

All applications require the following documents:

Applications will likely also require additional documents depending on the scope of work. Download the checklist below to find out what other forms you may need:

 

Related Forms

 

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