Permit Requirements for New Businesses
A healthy and vibrant business community is important to the overall health and vitality of the City. We therefore welcome new businesses and encourage business expansions. If you are considering locating or expanding your business in the City of Spokane, the following provides general guidelines to help plan for which permits may be required by the Department of Building Services.
Under most commercial circumstances, these permits can only be issued to sufficiently licensed contractors.
A Change of Use or Occupancy Permit will be required if a business will be moving into a place that was previously used for a different type of business or if it was previously a residence; AND if a business wishes to expand the occupant load from that which is identified on the current Certificate of Occupancy. ALSO, a change of use may be required if the space that will be occupied has been vacant or has never been occupied. Click here for more information on changes of use. Please prepare for the review process to take a month or longer.
Commercial Building Permits are required for all new buildings, all parking lot or site improvements, all additions to existing buildings, and for most renovations or modifications done to existing buildings or spaces within existing buildings. Remodel work requiring a Commercial Building Permit includes, but is not limited to, any sheetrocking, facade improvements, window or door replacements, ADA Accessibility upgrades, swale work, canopies, etc. Some small tenant improvements can be scheduled for an over the counter (same day) review. Most other remodels can be reviewed within 3 to 4 weeks. For new buildings and additions, prepare for at least 6 to 8 weeks of plan review process.
Electrical Permits are required for service upgrades, new wiring, security systems, and any modifications to existing wiring to include adding or moving any outlets or light fixtures. These permits are generally issued the same day they are applied for provided a commercial building permit has been approved.
Mechanical Permits are required for installations or modifications to any heating, ventilation, air-conditioning equipment , and/or gas piping and for some cooking equipment. Hoods are required for most cooking equipment and vent fans are required in all bathrooms. These permits are generally issued the same day they are applied for provided a commercial building permit has been approved.
Plumbing Permits are required for installing, re-installing, moving, or replacing any plumbing fixture to include sinks, toilets, dishwashers, floor drains, irrigation systems, etc. These permits are generally issued the same day they are applied for provided a commercial building permit has been approved.
Fence Permits are reviewed by Planning Services and Fire Protection Services prior to issuance. These permits are generally issued the same day or within 2 days if the Fire Protection Engineer is out of the office.
Any installation or modification of an exterior sign requires a Sign Permit. Please plan for the approval process to take at least a week.
Please Contact the Following Departments for Permits They May Require:
Engineering Services – Obstruction, Sewer, Water, Sidewalk Cafes, and Right-of-Way permit concerns. (509) 625-6300
Fire Protection Services – for any fire alarms or fire sprinkler systems, etc. (509) 625-7000
Parks Department - Street Tree Permits. (509) 625-6205
Planning Services – examples of instances that may require permits are Boundary Line Adjustments, Zoning Changes, Conditional Use, etc. (509) 625-6300
Spokane Regional Health District - Food Worker Permits, Plan Review & Inspections for places where food or beverages will be served or prepared. (509) 324-1560
Taxes & Licensing – for City of Spokane Business License. (509) 625-6070