Info for Business Owners
NEW Resource Available!
Need assistance on your latest construction project? Now small business owners and entrepreneurs can use the Small Business Help Form to get one-on-one guidance on planned or ongoing construction projects, including inspections, permits, and general advice. DOB’s new Small Business Support Team (SBST) will handle the inquiries and project applications coming from our City’s small business community. Whether opening a new place of business or renovating an existing one, owners and entrepreneurs can get the dedicated support they need.
Contact SBST through the Small Business Help Form to get your project to completion and your business up and running faster. For additional resources and support, contact the NYC Department of Small Business Services' NYC Business Express Service Team (BEST).
Things You Need to Know
Your success in executing and completing your construction project depends on how well you know, plan, and manage your project.
- Hire licensed professionals. Hire qualified and experienced professionals that comply with all requirements of the NYC Building Code and Zoning Resolution to consult and finalize the scope of work. Find licensed professionals.
- Resolve violations. The NYC Construction Codes require owners to build and maintain their properties in a safe manner and under safe conditions. Violation information is public and will appear in a property title search. Open violations can prevent an owner from selling or refinancing. Learn more about resolving violations.
- Obtain a permit. The majority of construction requires a DOB permit. Your RDP is responsible for submitting the application, drawings and other required documents to DOB for approval. Get more information on obtaining a permit.
- Certificate of Occupancy. A Certificate of Occupancy (CO) states a legal use and/or type of permitted occupancy of a building and confirms the completed work complies with all applicable laws, paperwork has been completed, fees paid, relevant violations resolved, and all necessary approvals have been received. No one may legally occupy a building until the Department has issued a CO. Learn more about Certificate of Occupancy.
- Determine your Zoning District. To determine the zoning district of your property and its applicable zoning regulations, visit the Department of City Planning’s website at www.nyc.gov/planning.
- Sign installation. NYC Construction Codes place a limit on the size of a sign that can be installed without a permit and requires a licensed professional Master or Special Sign Hanger be retained to install a sign. Find information on regulations governing sign appearance, when a permit is needed to install the sign and who can install it. Get information on business signs.
- Business Owner’s Bill of Rights. The Business Owner’s Bill of Rights ensures business owners are provided with prompt, efficient, and easily accessible service. Read the Department's Business Owner’s Bill of Rights in English and in Spanish.
Our borough offices are open every Tuesday from 4:00pm to 7:00pm for homeowners, tenants, small business owners, and building managers. During Buildings After Hours, staff from the borough commissioner’s office, borough operations, development inspections, enforcement inspections, and plan examination are available to answer questions and provide the information needed to:
- plan for a home renovation or construction project
- address an open violation on a property
- obtain more information about a property
- use online resources including the Buildings Information System (BIS) and DOB NOW.
Staff from the Administrative Enforcement Unit are available in the Manhattan borough office. Please continue to use DOB NOW and eFiling for all applicable online services. Read the Buildings After Hours service notice for more information.
- Use Code Notes. DOB’s Code Notes is a reference tool designed to assist you through the permit approval process. Each edition of Code Notes explains the necessary filings, applicable Codes and zoning requirements, relevant bulletins, directives and memos necessary for some of the most common construction projects in New York City.
- Use Project Guidelines for Owners. DOB’s Project Guidelines for Owners provides information on tasks and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved on your project. While Project Guidelines can be used at any stage of your construction project, you should begin using the Guidelines at the start, before your project application is filed. This initial review will help you determine who is responsible for each requirement, and will help you better assess project costs, site safety requirements, reduce liability and potential risks.
- Obtain Project Advocate Services. DOB Project Advocates provide customers with a single point of contact within the Department and its borough offices to assist in resolving of technical and operational issues relating to projects or properties, so jobs can be completed in a Code-compliant and timely manner. Request Project Advocate Services.
- Get Property History. Using tools like the Building Information System (BIS) and the DOB NOW Public Portal, you can review the history of any building in New York City. You can find violations, permits and complaints that were reported. The building history also shows the current status of the information as active or resolved.
- Request Records. Use the DOB NOW BIS Options portal to request drawings, plans or documents for properties located in New York City. For step-by-step directions, see the Record Requests in DOB NOW guide. Requests can be made for folders, plans, microfilm, docket books, reels, index/I-cards, and curb cut cards. Once a record request is submitted in DOB NOW, an email notification is sent to the requestor when the records are available for pick up at the borough office where the property is located.
- Get Job Status Updates. Sign-up to receive free email notifications on the status of construction projects filed with the Department. Use this form to sign-up to receive weekly job status email notifications and enter your email address and the Job Number(s) of the construction project(s) you want to receive status updates. The Department will send you weekly emails showing the status of each Job Number entered.
- Check the Service Level Tracker. The online Service Levels Tracker provides property owners, and the public, a better understanding of the impact DOB inspections and approvals have on the timelines of your projects. The tool allows you to see the average wait times for DOB services all in one place.
- See Procurement Opportunities. The Department's Contracts & Purchasing Office is responsible for procuring goods and services through micro purchases valued at up to $20,000; small purchases of up to $100,000; and formal contracts for services valued at over $100,000. See more procurement information.
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Still Have Questions?
Our plan examiners, inspectors and staff are here to help you build and live safely in New York City. Speak with DOB before starting your construction project, visit www.nyc.gov/doboffices to contact the borough office where the property you are inquiring about is located.
For general questions, submit an inquiry at Small Business Support.