Do You Need a Permit for Your Commercial Construction Project?

Inspector talking with customer about plans
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

The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your commercial building permit project. 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. You can also schedule an appointment to discuss your project. The City of Portland also issues building permits for the City of Maywood Park. 

This webpage can help you decide if you need a permit for your project. If you need a permit, the next step will be to read about requirements for commercial building permits and inspections

Apply online or in person for a permit

You can apply online for a permit or drop plans off in person with an appointment. Learn more about the permit review process (the steps to getting a permit). 

What you need for a complete commercial permit application 

Check out the full list of all building permits webpages. 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- Process Management and the Facility Permit Program 

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 commercial permit application

Learn more about the requirements for Commercial New Construction and Addition Permits Inspections and Commercial Alteration - Tenant Improvement Building Permits & Inspections. The webpages also have information about how to apply in person and links to apply online. The related webpages have more information about permits 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

Projects that need Development Services permits 

Learn more about different types of projects that require permits: 

  • Other permits include banner permits, changing occupancy permits, sign permits and more 
  • Outside work permits include concrete patio permits, decommission permits, driveway permits, sewer connection permits and more
  • Residential permits are for home repair work done on one and two-family homes. This webpage also has information about projects that don't need a permit. 
  • Trade permits for adding a bathroom, replacing plumbing fixtures or adding water lines

Still not sure if you need a permit? 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.