How to Certificate of Occupancy In United States

Certificate of Occupancy In United States By Online

  1. Be sure that your site conforms to the requirements of local and state regulations regarding zoning before you proceed. Take note of restrictions on zoning.
  2. Get a temporary certificate of occupancy. This permits work like landscaping to be carried out on your property prior to the time when the city issue an official certificate of occupancy.
  3. The building must be in compliance with all safety and fire codes and regulations, as well as plumbing, electrical and building codes prior to the certificate of occupancy can be given.
  4. You must obtain any necessary permits and licenses , such as an approval from the department of health, for those who provide food services or selling permits when you’re opening a retail shop, along with an official business license.
  5. Make an application to get an official certificate of occupancy and submit it to the department responsible at the local city hall. Include the fee required and in the event that it is required you have a copy of your layout plan, which includes both your exterior and interior layouts.
  6. The certificate of occupancy should be displayed at your place of business after you receive it from the municipality. The local government may require an inspection to obtain the permanent certificate.

Required Documents For Certificate of Occupancy

  1. Building plans that have been approved by the Municipality and any other documents that comes from Town Planning regarding rezoning, the relaxation of building lines, consent etc. If necessary the approval of a Site Development Plan (SDP).
  2. A Completion Certificate from an accredited structural or civil engineer. It is required for construction of foundations and concrete slabs stairs, wooden or suspended floors as well as stainless steel, soofs freestanding walls greater than 2.1m high or swimming pools as well as other structures constructed without planning permission prior to construction.
  3. Certification (Roof Truss) your truss installer or installer must give you a certification or alternatively, consult with your engineer.
  4. Glazing Certificate Your Glazier will issue you with the Certificate.
  5. The Electrical Certificate of Compliance This is only issued by an approved Electrician.
  6. Fire Certificate This will be required on all buildings that are public as well as structures made of substances that are flammable e.g. thatch or wood roofs.

Office Locations and Contacts

An occupancy certificate can be obtained from the local government, typically within the town’s building department


The Occupation Certificate is mandatory for any building prior to occupancy according to the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act.This is required to prove that all regulations are met and to ensure the safety of the owner.


Most of the time, costs to the C.O. are determined by the area of the space to be used. The fee is charged at $3.50 per sq. ft with an initial amount of $90.00 and up to $600.00 with the $40.00 DERM fee and 6 percent concurrency fee. The concurrency fee of 6 percent is not applicable to transfers of C.O. ‘s to business owners who are new and for C.O. is issued on the basis of an approved building permit. It is based on a building permit. $30.00 cost is charged for each inspection, if needed with the exception of Fire. However, the fee varies according in the county you’re from.


The majority of C.O. is issued on a perpetual basis. If the business doesn’t relocate, expand, or change name, ownership or other business activities the C.O. is valid. Certain C.O. can be renewed annually and are required to pay an annual fee. This is the case for all day care centers, schools, centers, night clubs and palmistry studios as well as companies that must renew every year after an Zoning Hearing. In certain instances businesses may be permitted to operate under a temporary C.O. This is accessible to builders in the event when the structure is largely or partly completed and all safety standards are met.

Processing Time

In many cases an Certificate of Usage and occupancy may be issued on the same day , and can take from 20 minutes to an hour to process, when you walk through the process in person.Mailed and faxed forms require an additional time.These applications can take between four and five days to process and need following up by the applicant. Inspections, should they be required can take between two and three days.


  1. Check out the zoning regulations in the zoning and plan department at your city hall prior to deciding on the location of your company.
  2. You can obtain an occupancy certificate for a temporary period.
  3. Have the site checked.
  4. Get any permits or licenses.
  5. Apply for an official certificate of occupancy.
  6. The certificate of occupancy should be displayed within your establishment once the city issues it.

Requirements Information

  • address, location, suite (if applicable) or number of bay (if relevant)
  • Name of the company
  • Name of the corporation
  • Corporate officer Title
  • Type of business
  • the area of space that is used up
  • Folio number of the property

The Document is required

The document provided by the local building or Zoning authority to the owner of the property to prove that the property has been constructed and maintained according to the the building or zoning regulations like those that regulate how many fire escapes are permitted, or the security for wiring for electrical wiring.A Certificate of occupancy is proof that the building is in compliance with the specifications and plans that were submitted to and approved by authorities in the area. It is a supplement to a building permit document that has to be submitted by the prospective owner to the authority prior to construction in order to prove that the proposed structure is in compliance with zoning laws.

Information that could be helpful 

If you discover that the laws of your town oblige you to obtain an occupancy certificate for the kind of property investment that you are making or the job you’re doing, but you did notdo so, you could be penalized or even being sued from the city. This could apply to every day you owned the property, but didn’t possess the certification of occupancy.

Other uses for the document/certificate

Certain cities require landlords to submit an occupancy certificate for any apartments that are let. This is to stop a building from deteriorating in a way that it can expose tenants to risk to their health or their lives. When the apartment is removed the inspector of an appropriate government agency like the housing authority will inspect the building to determine if it is in compliance with the minimum standards of living conditions. If the property is not meet the minimum standards, the inspector can issue a notice to the landlord to rectify the problem within a specified period of time , or the landlord is barred from leasing the unit.


Temporary certificates of occupancy are usually sought-after and are obtained when a building is still in construction, but it has some specific section or floors which are believed to be habitable after the issuance of TCO it is legally used or offered for sale.



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