What Is a Certificate of Occupancy?

Jun 25, 2019 | Certificate of Occupancy, Permitting, Technical Consulting

In the most basic sense, a certificate of occupancy is a license to do business at a certain address within the city limits of Dallas. However, the process of obtaining a certificate can be confusing. If you’re unsure of how to navigate the process to obtain a certificate of occupancy, the professionals at Masterplan can help.

Check out this guide to learn more about securing a certificate of occupancy in Dallas, TX.

What is a certificate of occupancy used for?

A certificate of occupancy is a legal document given to a business to certify that its commercial building, office space or other working space complies with local codes. It also certifies that the building is fit for occupancy. Certificates of occupancy are given out either by a building department or the local Dallas government.

When you are planning an office space or other commercial space, you will need to submit plans to the local government. These plans show the location and layout of the new space. Once your plans are approved and you build or remodel your commercial building, you must verify that you followed the approved plans. The certificate of occupancy is a document that states that you abided by the approved plans and are allowed to do business at the location.

Who needs a certificate of occupancy?

Although different jurisdictions will have different requirements, most follow a similar set of requirements for certificates of occupancy. Likewise, you may have different requirements based on the type of building in which you plan to conduct business.

Most of the time you will need to obtain a certificate of occupancy in Dallas, TX if you are building a new commercial building or the building is changing ownership. You must also secure a certificate when the building changes uses. For example, if a large industrial building is going to be remodeled into an apartment complex, this building would be changing from industrial use to residential use and would need to have a certificate of occupancy. You may also be required to get a certificate for major construction projects to add on to the building.

Depending on your situation, you may be able to obtain a temporary certificate of occupancy. These certificates work the same as a regular certificate but are for a set period of time and will expire. A regular certificate of occupancy does not need to be renewed.

Obtaining a certificate of occupancy in Dallas, TX

Your first step in securing your certificate is to determine if your building can be used as you intend. The Development Assessment center will look at the current zoning and decide if a site plan is needed. You’ll also be able to submit construction plans.

After the approval of your intended use, you will submit your commercial construction plans for review. If approved, you’ll be able to move on to permitting and inspections. After the inspections, you should be given your certificate of occupancy.

Start the Process to Secure a Certificate of Occupancy

Get the help you need to make securing a certificate of occupancy in Dallas, TX an easy process with the professionals from Masterplan. Reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.