Updates on City of San José Services and/or Operations . (English | Español | Tiếng Việt | 中文)


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Manage your plan review, permits and inspections

If you are opening or expanding a business in San José, you will need to familiarize yourself with the City’s planning and zoning regulations. Some businesses, such as restaurants and bars, must comply with County health regulations. 

Being informed is your best strategy for navigating and mastering the steps to opening or expanding your business. Review the “open or expand your business” flowchart

Step 1: Meet your coach 

Learn about available business coaching to assist you through San Jose's Development Services process which includes plan review, inspections, and obtaining building permits for new construction or renovations to a building.  

How long do building improvements typically take?
Although business owners’ needs vary, a typical timeline for building improvements can range from 12 to 20 weeks or more.

Typical Timeline for Building ImprovementsFor more information: 

What fees can I expect?

Budget for City of San José permit, inspections and other fees.  If you are interested in estimating construction taxes and building permit fees you can submit a request to the Building Division for a permit fee estimate.
Depending on the type of business (e.g., restaurants), there may also be fees charged by County of Santa Clara. 

In addition Sewer fees may apply to your business. Find more information on sewer fees

Obtain a firm quote when you hire any professional services and construction firms.

Step 2: Check zoning

It is important to determine if the business location you have selected is zoned for your business type. Consider doing site research to identify any code violations.  

Step 3: Hire a professional

If your coach advises that you must go through a planning review process, you will probably want to hire professionals to help you design and build your site improvements.  

Step 4: Develop plans for submittal to City 

The architect, engineer and building contractor you select can help you comply with City regulations (and any County regulations). These professionals can develop scaled site plans, elevations and floor plans for submittal.  

Resources to assist with plan submittal

Step 5: City review

City professionals from Planning, Building and Code Enforcement and from Fire, Public Works and other departments will review your plans to help you comply with the City’s planning and building codes and ordinances. If the business must comply with County health regulations, the City and County reviews can occur simultaneously. 

A wastewater plan check may be required for both food service and non-food service businesses.

To secure plumbing permits or to meet other requirements, contact Environmental Services for a plan check and approval stamp.   

Step 6: City signoff and issuance of permits

Once the reviews in Step 5 are complete, the City can sign off on your plans and issue necessary building permits

Step 7: Construction 

Once you are issued permits, your construction can begin.

Step 8: City inspections  

City inspectors will assess whether your construction meets professional standards. Certain businesses such as restaurants must also have inspections from the County Department of Environmental Health. 

Step 9: Congratulations

Congratulations! You’ve successfully started or expanded your business in San José.

Links to help you to understand what is needed