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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.

Refer to the Certificate of Occupancy Fact Sheet or the Temporary Certificate of Occupancy Fact Sheet for helpful information and requirements before starting the application process.

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.