Whether you’re just starting or it’s time to grow your business, City staff can assist.

Application review and processing timelines vary depending on the project and type of business. Examples of things that can make a project more complex include:

  • Significant interior or exterior construction
  • Changing the use of or expanding the facility/property
  • Rehabilitation of a property in a heritage preservation site or district

Things to Know

  • ­Some license types, heritage preservation reviews, or zoning changes require public hearings. Plan extra time in your process for these hearings.
  • ­If you are opening a restaurant with a sidewalk café, you will need a separate license and permit for outdoor seating.
  • ­Changes to exterior signage need approval. This requires separate review, and there may be additional requirements related to heritage preservation or a master sign plan. You will need to enlist a licensed sign contractor.
  • ­Submitting completed documents that meet requirements facilitates timely review of your application.
  • ­Enlist appropriate experts to help with your project, such as licensed and bonded contractors, architects, civil engineers, preservation architects, and environmental consultants.
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state regulations require businesses be accessible to people with disabilities.
  • ­Sewer Availability Charge (SAC) fees can add significant upfront costs to a project. Contact the Metropolitan Council early for an estimate of these fees based on your location and use.
  • ­There are alternative methods for gaining approvals that may otherwise be restricted. You may be able to seek an appeal, exception, or variance to achieve compliance. 

How the City Can Help

  • ­City staff can answer any questions related to city zoning, licenses, permits, site plans, building plans, and inspections. We can also connect you with a Project Facilitator who serves as a single point of contact to help with permitting and licensing processes. Call 651-266-8989.
  • ­Heritage Preservation staff can help you understand and navigate rules and processes that apply if your business will be in a heritage preservation site or district.

Project Facilitators

Talk to a Project Facilitator at 651-266-9103 about what you’ll need for your situation. Find out which permits and licenses you may need as they vary for different business types and activities. For example, if you’re taking over a business but don’t intend to make any changes to the physical space, you won’t need a construction permit, but you may need to apply for a business license.

Learn More

Approvals, Permits, and Licenses

Review this journey map to see how the various approvals, permits and licenses are interrelated.

Some of the following approval steps may happen simultaneously.

Last Edited: December 18, 2021