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New Business & Certificate of Occupancy

New Businesses and Certificate of Occupancy
What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
A Certificate of Occupancy (or CofO), is a certificate issued by the Building Division, which allows occupancy or use of a building or structure or portion thereof.
Who needs a Certificate of Occupancy?
All businesses operating within Huntington Beach city limits, regardless if you are planning to occupy an existing building or build new construction.
Why do I need a Certificate of Occupancy?
It protects YOU the business owner. A certificate of occupancy ensures that your business type and use is compliant to occupy a specific location.
Use Our Pre Certificate of Occupancy Inspection Program (Building Code Compliance Report) to avoid unexpected costs.
Applying for a Building Code Compliance Report is a proactive approach to identify and correct any possible deficiencies before a new owner or tenant is involved.  Cost for this service coincides with the Certificate of Occupancy fees (based on the type of occupancy) as shown in the Fee Schedule. This process eliminates unexpected costs for code corrections.

We will research the approved plans and permit history for a specific address, perform   an inspection and give the applicant a detailed report on the inspection findings.  By using this process it can be determined if significant alterations have occurred without permits. Examples of common problems are:

  1. Non permitted mezzanines in manufacturing or warehouses
  2. Non permitted tenant improvement work within buildings (addition of additional office space)
  3. Expired building and/or associated permits where the work was installed
  4. Mechanical, electrical and plumbing work that requires permits and listings.
  5. Exiting out of buildings per occupancy classification.
  6. Adjacent buildings or units use and/or occupancy type.
  7. Non-permitted electrical changes to the service or sub-panels and distribution.
  8. Changes in Occupancy Classifications
The Building Code Compliance Report is specifically designed to verify if any significant changes to the building have occurred that would have a negative impact on the prospective owner or lease. The Code Compliance Report does not in any way allow, permit, design, or imply approval for the future use of a building. Prior to purchasing or leasing a building, the applicant should verify with their licensed professional and all of the city departments (Community Development, Public Works, and Fire) whether the new intended use will be compatible with the building
What is the Cost of a Certificate of Occupancy?
Please see the Building Department Fee Schedule to see Certificate of Occupancy fees. There is no additional cost for a Certificate of Occupancy which is part of currently permitted construction at the same location, however, if a temporary Certificate of Occupancy should be needed prior to full completion of construction, approval must be obtained from the Inspection Manager and a fee must be paid prior to the issuance of temporary Certificate of Occupancy.

Permit Fee Schedule
How do I apply for the Certificate of Occupancy?
To initiate your application, kindly create an account on HB ACA portal. Detailed instructions on how to apply can be found here

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