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Building Permit Application: An essential step often overlooked by new business owners

As the pandemic slows down, businesses are recovering and new storefronts are appearing on the street. If you don’t want to miss out on the action, pay attention to a crucial step when carrying out your commercial build-out: applying for a building permit from the city government.


Unfortunately, the process can be very complex. The city government reviews your application and ensures that business owners follow building regulations to create a safe environment for customers and staff. Depending on the situation, you might need to apply for other permits, such as demolition permits or development permits.


We come to your assistance in such complex scenarios. For example, one of our clients wanted to transform a grocery store into a cafe. In addition to building permits, we also applied for the development permit since the renovation involved “Change of Use” (the business had a different purpose, which affected the structure of the building and the utilities).


   Before: grocery store                        After: cafe

The building permit application required submitting documents such as application forms and floor plans. Meanwhile, we also provided the electricity and plumbing plan approved by certified architects and mechanical engineers. Everything was ready for our client.


That was an easy case, but sometimes government officers will return the client’s application for revision. Experienced designers know how to get the job done efficiently and have a knack for tweaking the various trade documents.



Image: previous floor plan/ estimated floor plan of the cafe

Image: The plumbing plan is designed and approved by certified mechanical engineers, and it is one of the documents required for a building permit

Generally, the government will approve the application within 2-3 months. If you are not familiar with the procedures and bylaws, it might take longer and involve lots of rejections.


Never try to skip the step of applying for a building permit; you could end up losing down the road. Unless you’re doing a simple job such as painting or replacing fixtures, you have to follow the rules, same as everyone else.


Want to learn more about commercial build-out? Linhan Design is here to walk you through the details and help you build your dream storefronts from design to completion.



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