Buying or Leasing Commercial Space
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE BUYING OR LEASING A COMMERCIAL BUILDING OR SPACE
Once you’ve identified a building or space for your new business, you are strongly advised to check with the Building Inspection Division before buying or leasing to confirm that your intended use is the same as the classification in the Building and Fire Codes. There are multiple use/occupancy classifications in the codes. It is important to note that just because a property is zoned properly for your organization or business that does not necessarily mean that the building/space has the proper occupancy classification. If your intended use of the building or space does not match the use/occupancy classification, you will need a building permit for Converting Use. Please note also that if you have a new business, your business is expanding, or you are changing the use of your commercial building or space, you must submit an Application for Certificate of Use (COU).
HOW TO OBTAIN A PERMIT FOR CONVERTING USE
In order to ensure the safety of the occupants, a building permit for Converting Use is required whenever the use/occupancy classification (as determined by the Building and Fire Codes) of the building or space is changed. A building permit for Converting Use will require, at a minimum, a life safety plan and code summary provided by a Florida-licensed design professional. The design professional’s review of the space will determine if other changes to the space are required. These changes could include, but not be limited to requiring the installation of a fire sprinkler system, fire alarm system, additional exit doors, additional restrooms, and changes to the electrical or mechanical systems.
BUILDING INSPECTION DIVISION
The Building Inspection Division is responsible for ensuring that existing and future developments and construction comply with the Florida Building Codes and Jacksonville's building ordinances.