Commercial Changes of Occupancy or Use

Any commercial changes of occupancy, changes of use, expansions of use, or expansions of occupancy into more space in the same building, regardless of whether there will be any construction or remodeling to prepare the space for the new tenant, require a building permit and final occupancy certificate inspection prior to operating the business in the space. This requires:

  • Two sets of plans showing existing floor plan and proposed new layout. The plan should be understandable and reasonably to scale, and should include a graphic of the location of the space within the building, relative to other spaces and the parking lot.
  • If the building itself is being expanded, a survey is also required.*
  • A completed Building Permit Application with full contact information of property owner, tenant business and contractor, size of space, proposed use, hours of operation, number of employees.
  • The estimated cost of the project including labor and materials.  The building permit fee will be based on that cost, at a rate of $15 per $1000 estimated cost or part thereof. The minimum fee for all building permits requiring occupancy inspection is $50.
  • Building permit fee to be paid at time of application, in the form of cash or check only.

*New commercial additions resulting in an increase of 1000 square feet (including cumulative over the span of five years) will require site plan review by the Planning Board prior to applying for a building permit. Please contact our Community Planner, Steve Puleo, if your expansion will trigger site plan review. 

Please note that any change of business tenant in a commercial space requires a building permit and occupancy inspection, regardless of whether any tenant fitup work is being done, even in the same size space, or if the business is expanding or moving to a different space in the same building or into another South Portland building.