Commercial Building Permits: What You Need To Know

If your business is evolving and you need additional space to accommodate your growth, it's crucial to know what you're getting into before you get started on constructing additions. Each municipality has a unique combination of commercial building permits that must be approved before construction begins. Continue reading to discover what makes up the city of Omaha's permits and what to include in your next project.

Why You Need Commercial Building Permits

Commercial building permits are your local government’s way of making sure companies keep their customers and employees safe by complying with building codes. Ignoring permit requirements is a safety hazard to building occupants and could impose expensive fines on your business.

On the surface, it seems like a confusing task, and you probably have a few questions. To properly navigate the permit process, take a look at some common questions.

Common Questions Regarding Commercial Building Permit Requirements

How Long Does It Take To Get a Building Permit?

For the city of Omaha, building permits that don’t require an assessment are issued at the time of application. For larger commercial properties, you need to schedule a feasibility review to confirm the safety of your workspace. The timeframe for this varies, but you can typically expect to receive an inspection three or four weeks after your initial submission.

What Type of Construction Requires Commercial Building Permits?

Most commercial construction requires some type of certification. Businesses in Omaha need to acquire a permit for any of the following:

  • Everything structural
  • New additions
  • Roofing and siding
  • Retaining walls over six feet
  • New concrete over 200 square feet
  • Window replacements
  • Parking lots, paving projects

Does My Business Need a Certificate of Occupancy?

The city of Omaha requires a certificate of occupancy as part of your commercial building permit based on two factors:

  • New business operations in an existing building where the previous business had a different use.
  • New businesses in a brand-new facility with no previous tenants.

What Is a Site Plan, and Where Do I Get One?

A site plan is a blueprint of your entire property and should include:

  • Building dimensions
  • Existing and proposed improvements
  • New improvements in relation to your property boundaries

If you’re working with design-build contractors for your new construction project, they can provide you with copies of your site plan. If you’re adding new additions to your current property, your site plans are usually included in your mortgage and purchase information. Additionally, you can find helpful building information by visiting the Douglas Omaha GIS website.

Your Complete Commercial Building Permit Checklist

Keeping track of building permits, reviews, and licenses for your commercial project can be overwhelming. The following checklist contains standard requirements your business needs to certify your facility.

Site Plans

Before you can start your project, the city of Omaha needs to approve your site plans, which includes:

  • Building design, building use, parking, landscaping, lighting, and signage
  • Stormwater management, site erosion control, construction erosion control
  • Construction safety precautions

Nebraska State Plan Reviews

Your local state plan review ensures all structural and mechanical elements in your new facility are up to code, such as:

  • Building architecture
  • HVAC
  • Plumbing
  • Fire alarms and sprinklers
  • Elevators
  • Electrical wiring
  • Roofing

Commercial Licensing

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to obtain additional licensing documents as part of your commercial building permit. Different industries require different licenses to confirm your facility is safe for guests. Some businesses that require specialized licenses are:

  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Daycare centers
  • Educational facilities
  • Communal residential facilities
  • Pools
  • Event spaces
  • Gyms

For businesses unfamiliar with local construction requirements, consider enlisting the help of architects, engineers, or general contractors. They can help you identify your needs and ensure a smooth construction project.

Carlson Kennedy Has Experience in Procuring Omaha Building Permits

There’s no way around it. The entire process of obtaining commercial building permits is a hassle—but what if you didn’t have to?

Enter Carlson Kennedy. As a full-service general contractor, we handle your entire construction project from start to finish. Our operations team specializes in securing the necessary building requirements for our clients. Take a load off your shoulders by starting your next construction project with us.