What types of permits are needed?

A sign permit will be required for signage at your businesses location. For more information please click here. A building permit will be required for renovations to the structure, additions, and new construction. For more information please click here.

Commercial Building Permit Process

*Please note that this is intended for new construction and is intended as a general guide. However, many of the same steps will need to be followed for remodeling and/or additions in commercial buildings. Please see the following pages for information on remodels, build-outs, and additions. Large sites may require modifications to the process; please consult with city staff.

  1. Consult with Planning & Zoning staff on the zoning of the property, required setbacks, and any other development regulations that may be in place.
  2. Building permits are required before work is to be started.
  3. If not already completed, contractor and subcontractors must register with the City of Harlem prior to issuance of building permits.
  4. Plans will need to be submitted to Columbia County Development Services prior to a building permit being issued. It is recommended that you contact Development Services prior to submitting plans to ensure that all information required is present. Requirements for plans submittal for existing and new buildings are on the following pages.
  5. After approval by Development Services, bring stamped plans and plot plan showing location of new building on lot with front, side, and rear setbacks to Planning & Zoning.
  6. Apply for a building permit with Planning & Zoning.
  7. Pay for sewer and water taps, if applicable. Please call 706-556-3448 and speak with Leona Holley.
  8. Install soil and erosion bmp’s as needed. City of Harlem Public Works and Planning & Zoning departments will inspect.
  9. If clearing and/or grading over 1 acre of land, a Notice of Intent will need to be filed. Otherwise, grade and/or clear the lot as needed.
  10. Upon inspection and approval of soil and erosion and payment of all fees building permit will be issued.
  11. City of Harlem will inspect sewer and water tap installation by plumber.
  12. Columbia County Development Services responsible for all other inspections. Please call 706-868-3420 to schedule inspections and have your permit number ready.
  13. Upon final inspection of the project, please call Planning & Zoning to be issued a Certificate of Occupancy.
  14. New owner will need to open water, sewer, and trash collection account. Please contact Leona Holley at 706-556-3448 for more information.