Commercial Building Permit

The Arlington County Permit Office is CLOSED for in-person customer service. Many services are available online. Learn more.

Building permits are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents. Failure to obtain the required permit is a violation of the law. Make sure you determine whether your project is considered Residential or Commercial before proceeding.

Types of projects that require a commercial building permit:

  • Installations or alterations involving:
    • Removal or addition of any wall, partition or portion thereof
    • Any structural component
    • Repair or replacement of any required component of a fire- or smoke-rated assembly, including adding pipes, conduits or other penetrations
    • Alteration of any required means of egress system
  • Construction or demolition of any structure
  • Movement of a lot line that increases the hazard / decreases the level of safety of an existing building or structure in comparison to the building code under which such building or structure was constructed
  • Removal or disturbance of any asbestos-containing materials during the construction or demolition of a building, including additions (this also requires a separate Asbestos Removal Permit)
  • Any change from one type of use to another as defined by Chapter 3 of the Building Code.

For information about when a permit is not required, see §108.2 of the Building Code or contact the Inspection Services Division (ISD): 703-228-3800.

Commercial Submission Requirements

Commercial building permit applications must be submitted online via ePlan Review.

Commercial Plan Review Process

Scheduling Inspections

Once a building permit is approved, construction can proceed. You must schedule an inspection to ensure the safety and proper progress of the project.

Fees

Fee Schedules provide the range of fees charged for each type of application or activity related to land development in Arlington. Fees cover permitting, plan review, enforcement, inspection, service delivery, performance agreements and conditions. There are separate fee schedules for Inspection Services Division (ISD), Zoning and the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Some permits involve fees from more than one schedule.

Quick Tips

  • Demolition of an existing structure or building is a separate process from the building permit. Learn more about a Demolition Permit.
  • A development plan is required if the total land disturbance exceeds 2,500 sq. ft. Learn more about Land Disturbing Activity.
  • Permits expire 6 months after the last approved inspected activity on-site.
  • If another party is submitting an application(s) on the owner’s behalf, the property owner must complete a Permit Authorization Affidavit.