All regulated work performed in the City of Columbia must have a permit. Two types of permits can be issued depending on the type of work being performed; either a Building Permit or a Building Trade Permit.
A Building Trade Permit includes work such as electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and gas that typically does not require the review of Zoning, the Plans Examiner, Engineering or other agency outside of Permitting including  minor commercial up-fits that do not require plan review.  To obtain a Building Trade Permit, submit a completed Commercial Building Trade Permit application and any required plans to the Development Center for processing. For more information call us at 803-545-3420.
The Building Permit requires the review of Permitting and Zoning, and typically at least one other City division (i.e. Engineering, Plans Examiner). Please note that the permitting process may require land development reviews such as Planning Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and/or Design/Development Review Commission.  The Development Center will take in plans and coordinate the review of such projects. To obtain a Building Permit, first refer to the handout titled Before You Start and the appropriate development checklist to determine the plans required for your project type. Submit all materials and a completed commercial permit application (No plan review fees are due upon 1st submission) to the Development Center. If you have questions concerning the submittal requirements or the process of a Building Permit, please call the Development Center at 803-545-3483.

ALSO: If the subject property is located within a designated Historic or Design District, a Certificate of Design Approval is required before a permit can be issued.  This is typically done during the permit review process.  For more information, please contact Planning Staff at (803) 545-3222.

For Land Disturbance (clearing, grading, trenching, etc) requirements and permitting, see: Land Disturbance
NOTE: Painting, flooring, and other cosmetic work does not require a permit. See International Building Code Section 105.2 for exemptions.