How to Get a Commercial Permit

Commercial = Non-Residential

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Before Starting Your Project When + Where to Submit Your Application How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit? Fees Other Helpful Documents

A Commercial (Non-Residential) Building Permit and/or Zoning Permit approval is required for development activity associated with an apartment, office, and/or commercial uses. Development activity involving a new structure, change of use, addition, fit-up, or alteration/repair that qualifies as a Tier One Site Plan as referenced in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) Section 10.2.8. (as amended by text change case TC-14-19) should use the Non-Residential Permit application.

This process ensures that all commercial construction complies with N.C. State Building Code and the Unified Development Ordinance as applicable.

This process covers new buildings, additions, alterations, changes of use, and mass grading.

Applications received for the following development will be triaged for completeness prior to being processed for review:

  • New buildings
  • Additions
  • Changes of use

The triage process is an administrative review to verify that there is adequate information for a detailed code review. Contact a Planning and Development Technician at 919-996-2500 with any questions regarding this gatekeeping process.

Other proposed work, including alterations and fit-ups, may be submitted to the Planning and Development Customer Service Center via email:

Before Starting Your Project

  1. Obtain a recorded map of the property, if available, for new buildings, additions, change of use, and site reviews. If there is no recorded map, a copy of a current signed and sealed survey, in addition to the property description on file with the Wake County Register of Deeds, will be accepted
  2. Establish an address. Contact the GIS Addressing Team at 919-996-4471 for address assignments.
  3. Approved site permit drawings.
  4. Approved administrative site review or preliminary subdivision, if applicable.

When + Where to Submit Your Application


Type Description
Required for Submittal

How Long Does it Take to Get a Permit?

Please see our development review turnaround times.

  • Applicants will be notified by email when plans are ready for pick up.
  • Plan review comments can be viewed at all times in the Permit and Development Portal.

Plans that are ready for permit issuance but still waiting on contractor information will be kept at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center for up to six months. After six months, the plans will be discarded and the application will be voided.

An administrative fee may be incurred when projects have to be voided.

Plans that are not approved in between review cycles must be picked up at the Planning and Development Customer Service Center Records Center within 30 days after the last review. Unapproved plans will be discarded after 30 days.


  • Two fees are due with the submittal package. These are the commercial review fee for new buildings, change of use and additions, and the land disturbance (grading) review fee
  • All other permit fees are due when permits are ready for pickup
  • See Development Fee Guide for specific fees
  • The Planning and Development Customer Service Center processes payments
  • Payment types include: Cash, MasterCard, Visa, or check made payable to the City of Raleigh

Use this fee calculator to obtain an estimate of building and trade permit fees.


Lead Department:
Planning and Development
Service Categories:
Permits - Commercial