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Do You Need a Permit for Your Commercial Construction Project?

Guide
Learn more about what kind of commercial construction needs a permit. Find out if you need a day care center building permit, a seismic upgrade permit and what permits you need for new construction or for alterations. Includes multifamily building permits information.
On this page

Learn more about types of permits for commercial construction sites (including multi-family dwellings) and when they're needed. Find out if you need permits and what kind of permits you need. The City of Portland also issues building permits for the City of Maywood Park. 

What you need for a complete permit application 

Search Portland.gov for a project type to find out what you need for a complete application. For example, search for "Commercial Alteration" or "short term rental."  

Check out the Permits area for information about permits. You can also visit the commercial permitting area and the Building and Zoning Permit Application page. You might also want to read What You Need to Apply for a Permit- Minimum Submittal Requirements.

Special programs for commercial customers 

Learn more about the Process Management Program and the Facility Permit Program

New construction that requires a building permit 

  • Construct new commercial building
  • Construct new multifamily building

Alterations to existing structures that require a building permit 

  • Cell phone antenna- Contact Land Use Review to see if Land Use Review is required.
  • Change the Use or Occupancy in an Existing Building.    
  • Construct an addition   
  • Demolish a structure
  • Day care center -Contact Land Use Review to see if Land Use Review is required.
  • Disabled access upgrades         
  • Install racks/storage shelving    
  • Install siding    
  • Move or construct walls, even if non-bearing partitions 
  • Replace or add new windows or doors  
  • Seismic upgrade
  • Tenant improvements              

For asbestos abatement, contact the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) or call them (800) 452-4011.

Start a new permit application

The related webpages have more information about specific permit types and the permit review process. 

In addition, here is a quick link to the building permit application:

Commercial permit inspections

Read more about commercial permit inspections

Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. 

This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply.