Opening a Business

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Steps to Opening a Business in Chapel Hill

boa building

No Change to Floor Plan or Occupancy Type

  1. Once you have decided on a location, and are not changing the existing floor plan, submit a Business Occupancy Permit. Once this is reviewed, you will receive an email indicating it has been reviewed and you will then be able to schedule an inspection. The inspector will come to inspect the space for safety and capacity.
  2. At the final inspection, the building inspector will give you a Business Occupancy form and Occupancy placard.
  3. Sign Permits: If you want to erect a sign for your business, you will need to submit a Sign Application for review by Planning. Please also include a drawing of the sign and an Installation Permit application with your submittal package.

Changes to Floor Plan or Occupancy Type

  1. If you are changing the floor plan, you will need to bring a digital set of plans to the Inspections Division in Building & Development Services and fill out a Commercial Building Permit application. After the building inspector and Fire Marshall approve it, we will then issue the permit and email you to let you know that it is ready.
  2. This process takes a minimum of one week. You will then need to pick up the permit and pay for it.
  3. Calling for inspections: You will need to call for inspections at various stages of construction: rough-ins, framing and finals. You must use the permit number and call in 24 hours ahead of time.
  4. At the final inspection, the building inspector will give you a Business Occupancy form and Occupancy placard.
  5. Sign Permits: If you want to erect a sign for your business, you will need to submit a Sign Application for review by Planning. Please also include a drawing of the sign and an Installation Permit application with your submittal package.
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