Obtain Commercial Occupancy Permits

Information on applying for a Commercial Occupancy Permit.


Application for Commercial Occupancy permits is made in person with one of the Customer Service Representatives of the Permits Section at City Hall, Rm. 425.

Occupancy permits are valid for a business until:

  • The business changes
  • The business' owner changes
  • The property's use changes

If you are starting a new business in the City, contacting the Business Assistance Center may be helpful. They will access all the information needed to open your business and will process the applications with various City departments for you. The Business Assistance Center is located in City Hall, Rm. 421.


Prospective applicants are required to bring with them either a signed lease or notarized letter from the owner of the property stating that permission has been granted to the applicant to occupy the premises. The lease or letter should also state what type of business will occupy the space.

You must also have contact information for the owner.


When you come to the Permit Office and meet with a Customer Service Representative please bring the required documents and payment with you.

Information you should be prepared to provide includes:

  • Name of business
  • Contact information for property owner and business
  • Is the space less/greater that 3500 sq. ft.?
  • Description of exactly what kind of activity takes place in business.

A date will be set for inspections to take place. Someone needs to be present between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to let the inspectors in. 

The inspectors that will always examine a building for commercial occupancy are:

  • Building Inspector
  • Electrical Inspector
  • Mechanical Inspector
  • Plumbing Inspector
  • Fire Marshall

Additionally, inspectors from the Air Pollution section may be involved depending on the type of business that will occupy the property. E.g.: manufacturing, automotive painting facility, etc.


The costs of a commercial occupancy application are:

  • $80.00 for units with less than or equal to 3500 square feet
  • $160.00 for units with more than 3500 square feet.
  • There is a $5.00 fee for a name change on an existing occupancy permit

If an applicant pays $80 for an application and it is found upon inspection that the size of the space is greater than 3500 sq ft, then the applicant will be required to pay the additional $80 prior to being issued an occupancy permit.

Currently the Permit Office accepts cash and checks only.

What to Expect

Once an application for Occupancy is received it is reviewed by the Zoning section to determine if the stated use on the application meets the requirements of the property's current zoning standard.

Zoning Standards:

  • If the Zoning section approves the application and all of the inspectors find that the property is approved for occupancy, then the occupant is issued a permit.
  • If the Zoning section denies the application because the use is not allowed in the zoned area, a Conditional Use or Board of Adjustment hearing may be set.

If any one of the inspectors assigned to the property find major violations, then that will preclude the applicant from receiving an Occupancy permit. The applicant is sent a "violation letter"; remediates the issue and schedules a re-inspection which must be passed by the inspector who issued the original violation prior to being issued an occupancy permit.

Additional Information

The commercial occupancy permit application is valid for 60 days, after which time it is considered abandoned.


Permit Section


(314) 622-3313

1200 Market, Room 425
St. Louis, MO 63103

Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM Hot Spot Desk 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Contact the Permit Section

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