If you are a small business undergoing a change of use under the Planning Code and
- are not proposing any new construction / tenant improvements, and
- the occupant load for your business space remains the same or decreases, and
- there is no change of occupancy classification
you do not need to prepare plans from a licensed architect as part of your building permit application. Instead, follow the below steps.
Consult with the Office of Small Business about your project
The Office of Small Business can assist you with preparing information prior to you beginning the permitting process. To view the information you will need, click here.
Learn about the First Year Free program and see if you qualify to have your permit fees waived.
Visit the Permit Center
Once you are ready to begin the permitting process for your change of use (under the Planning Code), visit the Permit Center at 49 South Van Ness Ave.
After you have completed the intake process with the Department of Building Inspection, you will be routed to the Office of Small Business.
If you have not yet completed this information, the Office of Small Business will assist you with the worksheets.
Planning Department will review your permit
The Office of Small Business will route your permit to the Planning Department to review and approve your change of use permit.
This step may be completed at the Permit Center depending on the volume of permits/cases. However, this may be completed on another day.
You may check in with the Office of Small Business to find out the status of your permit.
Department of Building Inspection will review your permit
After the Planning Department reviews your permit, the Department of Building Inspection (DBI) will review and approve your permit. This step may be completed at the Permit Center depending on the volume of permits/cases. However, this may be completed on another day.
If DBI has questions about your project, DBI staff will contact you with questions or requests for additional information. Office of Small Business staff will be available to assist you with understanding these questions and any additional information being requested, and also help you find out the status of your permit.
Once your change of use permit is approved, you are able to proceed based on what was outlined in your permit application.
Last updated October 14, 2022