The Certificate of Use and Occupancy is also call
as CO and sometimes a Zoning Permit. Prior to occupancy of any
commercial, industrial or office location or opening any business in
the unincorporated area of Dade County, this certificate is required.
If you are doing interior remodeling or alterations that require a
permit, you will need to complete the work and obtain, all final
inspections prior to applying for the Certificate of Use and Occupancy.
Once a C.O. is obtained, Florida, Power and Light will be contacted so
that electricity can be released to the business location.
Why do I need one?
The Certificate of Use and Occupancy assures you
that your business is allowed in the zoning district where it is
located. It also verifies that the structure you are occupying has been
built for your type of business activity.
What do I need to apply?
In order to apply for a Certificate of Use and
Occupancy, the following information is necessary:
location, address, suite or bay number (if applicable)
name of the business
corporate officer, title
type of business
square footage of space being occupied
folio number of property
How do I apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy?
You can apply in person by coming to the Stephen
P. Clark Center, 111 NW First Street, 12th floor. Or you may apply by
fax or mail. Dial our Voice Response line to have an application faxed
to you. Dial (305) 271-1242 and direct dial 1,4,2,7 slowly. You may
send your completed application to our fax line at (305) 375-2811. For
fastest issuance walk your application through in person between the
hours of 8:00 a.m. through 4:00 p.m.
What are the steps involved?
Your application is reviewed to be sure the type
of business is permitted in the zoning district where it is to be
located. If your business activity is not permitted at The location,
your application will be rejected. You may apply for a Zoning Hearing
before the Community Zoning Appeals Board to request that your business
be allowed, or even to request a zoning change for the property. For
further information regarding a Zoning Hearing, please contact (305)
If your business is permitted on the property, your application will be
processed. You may be required to complete affidavits, declarations or
other forms, depending on the type of business you have, and depending
on the zoning classification of the property. In some instances, plans
may be required or you may have to see another section or department
for a special review. All applications must he reviewed by the
Department of Environmental Resources Management (DERM) located on the
Some businesses have to be inspected by our departmental inspectors
before the C.O. will be issued. These inspections are completed within
two to three days from the day they are requested. Inspections types
may include electrical, mechanical, plumbing, building, fire, and/or
How long does it take to obtain a Certificate of Use
For many businesses, the Certificate of Use and
Occupancy can be issued the same day and may take anywhere from 20
minutes to one hour for processing, if walked through in person.
Mailed and faxed applications require additional time as they are for-
warded to DERM and other offices as needed. These applications take
four to five days, and require follow up by the applicant. Inspections,
if needed, take approximately two to three days.
How much does a Certificate of Use and Occupancy cost?
In most cases, fees for the C.O. are based on the
square footage of the area to be occupied. The fee is assessed at a
rate of 3 cents per square foot, with a minimum of $90.00 and a maximum
of $600.00 plus a $40.00 DERM fee and 6 percent concurrency fee. The 6
percent concurrency fee is not applicable for transfers of C.O.'s to
new business owners or for C.O.'s issued based on a building permit. A
$30.00 fee is charged for each inspection, if required, except for Fire.
How long is a C.O. good for?
Most C.O.'s are issued on a Permanent basis. If
the business does not move, expand, change ownership, name or business
activity, the C.O. remains valid. Some C.O.'s are renewable annually
and must pay a yearly fee. This applies to all schools, day care
centers, night- clubs, palmistry studios and businesses that are
required to renew annually following a Zoning Hearing. In some
instances, a business location may be occupied under a Temporary C.O.
This is available to builders in cases where the structure is
substantially or partially complete and all life safety requirements
have been satisfied.
How can I find out the status of my C.O. application once I have
Dial (305) 271-1242 then dial 1, 4, 2, 4 slowly to check on C.O.
status. Always refer to the assigned process number that begins with a
"u". If you do not have a C.O. process number, call (305) 375-2639.
What is a Certificate of Completion?
A Certificate of Completion (C.C.) is issued when
a single- family residence or duplex residence is completed. It costs
Is there a penalty if I don't obtain a C.O.?
Yes. Occupying a business location without
obtaining the necessary C.O. may result in a fine and possible tickets
both to the tenant and the property owner.
What is the difference between the Certificate of Use
and Occupancy and the Occupational License?
The Certificate of Use and Occupancy allows the
occupancy of the structure and certifies that the use is permitted. The
Occupational License is a tax on the business activity. Both are
required to function in Miami-Dade County.