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Certificate of Occupancy

A Certificate of Occupancy is required as a condition of a change in the use and occupancy of a space in accordance with the International Building Code. Certificates of Occupancy are also required for all new construction and building additions.

To obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, gather the materials listed below and submit a completed permit application in-person at the Municipal Services Building (MSB) Concourse.

For complete instructions, refer to the Building Permits Page.

  1. Completed Building Permit Application – See Building Permits article for complete building permit information, including processing time and fees.
  2. Prerequisite Approvals for a Building Permit –  Before obtaining a building permit, your project may need to receive approvals from various city departments if it meets the listed condition.
    • Zoning/Use Registration Permit for any change in use of the propertyUse Registration Permit Application Contact Licenses and Inspections Zoning Unit (Concourse – 1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd., 215.686.2567)
    • Clean Streams Act Compliance –  for changes in use of a space 5,000 sq. ft. or more with a Use and Occupancy designation of R-2, R-3, A, B, M and E Use Groups, confirmation of compliance with the Clean Streams Act is required. (As per PA Act 537 and Clean Streams Act.) Contact the Philadelphia Water Department (2nd Floor – 1100 Market St., 215.685.1419)
  3. Three sets of building plans
    • Plans must be of professional quality and drawn to scale (e.g. 1/4″ = 1′- 0″).
    • The minimum sheet size is 18” x 24”.
    • The following information must be included on the plan:
      • Applicable codes
      • Construction type, use and occupancy classification
      • Delineation of all partitions and identification of fire-resistance rated construction
      • Dimensions and use of each space clearly identified
      • All exits, including width
      • All plumbing fixtures
  4. A non-refundable filing fee of $100

See Building Permits article for complete building permit information, including processing time and fees.

Payment Information

RETURNED CHECKS: If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize The City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.