Building and permits
The building your business occupies will need to comply with State and City building codes and have a Certificate of Occupancy before you can open to the public. The City of Minneapolis reviews construction plans, issues permits, and conducts inspections for a variety of construction work that may need to be completed to bring your space up to code. Visit the Minneapolis Development Services Customer Service Center for guidance on all building regulatory requirements.
Contact Minneapolis Development Services
Before an existing building can be used for a new purpose or change occupancy, modifications may be required to bring the space up to code for your business. You will need to hire a licensed design professional, such as an architect or engineer, to review building codes and create detailed drawings of your space and any planned alterations.
Hiring a contractor
If construction work is required to bring your building up to code, you may need to hire a professional contractor to obtain building permits, oversee work, and schedule inspections with the City of Minneapolis.
A plan review determines if your space will be in compliance with local ordinances and applicable State building and mechanical codes. Site plans created by a licensed design professional will need to be submitted to the City for review, approval, and permit. City of Minneapolis Plan Review staff will examine and approve your plans before a permit is issued. Once plans are submitted for review, it can take 20-25 business days before a permit is issued. If your plans need to be revised, your licensed design professional will need to make the revisions and resubmit to the City. It can take 10 business days for a permit to be issued after plan resubmittal. Take these timelines into account when planning the opening of your business.
See frequently asked permit questions
For most types of construction work, a permit issued by the City of Minneapolis is required. Once site plans have been approved, permits can be pulled by the business owner, property owner, or contractor. If you have hired a general contractor, they will coordinate all building and construction permits required for your project.
Types of permits:
Building permits: For alterations made to a building, especially if they are structural alterations.
Electrical permits: For any electrical work. Issued by the State of Minnesota.
Elevator permits: For installation of or work on an elevator.
Environmental permits: For activities that may affect the environment surrounding your business, such as those that create significant noise, pollution, or hazardous waste.
Fire protection permits: For the installation, modification, or extension of fire safety systems such as sprinklers, fire hydrants, fire detection systems, etc. Issued by Fire Inspection Services.
Kitchen exhaust duct cleaning permits: For the twice-yearly cleaning and inspection of commercial kitchen hood systems. Issued by Fire Inspection Services.
Mechanical/Heating permits: For work including heating, air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, and gas piping.
Plumbing permits: For work on fixtures, water piping, water heaters, or gas appliances.
Sign permits: For installing any sort of sign on the exterior of your business. Signs must also be approved by Zoning.
Soil erosion permits: For any activity that disturbs land over more than 500 square feet. This activity must also be approved by Public Works.
Special events permits: For commercial fireworks displays, events that temporarily exceed maximum occupancy, unusual uses of existing buildings, and tents and other temporary structures. Issued by Fire Inspection Services.
Street use permits: For placing a dumpster or storage unit in the public right-of-way.
Wrecking/moving permits: For demolishing or moving a structure.
All modifications to properties that have Historic Preservation designation are reviewed by City of Minneapolis staff, and for large projects, the Heritage Preservation Commission. Reviews are commonly limited to only exterior alterations to a property. Your Development Coordinator will inform your property is designated.