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.

We provide updates about changes to operations or inspections through our newsletter. Send us an email at permits@townofchapelhill.org if you're interested in receiving these updates. 

During this unprecedented time, staff are working hard to convert operations to remote and electronic only. Permit Center staff will be available by phone from 8:30am to 3pm daily to allow time for processing requests and training. Due to the high volume of emails and phone calls, processing requests may be delayed. Requests will be completed in the order they're received.

Acceptance of building permit applications may take up to 2 business days. Applicants will be notified by email when the application has been accepted and sent to plan review.

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

 

Related Pages

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