Permit Process

Once your building plans are approved, your building permit will be issued. At this point, all other trade permits can be issued. Please note that trade permits must be linked to the parent building permit. If you discover your trade permit is not linked, please contact our call center at 210-207-1111

There are a few commercial projects that do not require a permit:

  • Painting walls and adding floor tiling or carpeting
  • Install minor millwork and cabinetry
  • Replacing existing windows to same size and location

Trade Permits

Once your commercial building permit has been issued, various trade permits will be required. Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing permits are required for commercial construction projects. They can be obtained using the Online Permitting System or at our One Stop:

Cliff Morton Development and Business Services Center
1901 S. Alamo St.
San Antonio, TX 78204

Trade contractors that are licensed by the State and/or City and registered with the Development Services may pull trade permits.

Fire Permits

We work with the Fire Marshal's Office to ensure safe conditions for occupants of commercial buildings. We also work for all emergency responders that must enter these facilities during a fire. 

When you submit your commercial building permit application, we will review your building plans for site related requirements such as:

  • Fire access
  • Fire flow test report
  • Fire hydrants
  • Fire lanes
  • Hose lay requirements
  • Occupancy Classification Letter (see IB 192a (PDF))

Fire System permits will only be issued to State licensed fire system contractors who can be found by going to the Texas Department of Insurance, Fire Marshal's Office.

Other Fire Permits

Our plans examiners will also identify whether your project will require other fire-related permits. These include Fire Sprinkler and Fire Alarm permits. In the event your project requires these permits, you will need to submit separate applications. To assist you, we will also review your permits

As a way to expedite the issuance of these permits, you have the option to submit certified plans in accordance with IB 102a (PDF) and IB 102b (PDF). These allow your permit to be issued after a completeness review is performed. Should you have any questions regarding Fire Sprinkler and Fire Alarm permits or if you would like to submit certified plans, you may email our Fire Permit Team.

All other fire system permits are reviewed and issued by the Fire Marshal's Office. 

Fire Marshal Permit Information

The Fire Marshal's Office is also responsible for performing the Fire Inspection on all permits. For general Fire System questions or to schedule a Fire System inspection, please call 210-207-8410.

Check Fire System Permit Status

Permit Expiration

Every permit application and permit will expire within 180 days if no proof of work or progress has been shown.

To help ease your project, we may grant one or more 180-day extensions when you can prove a valid, justifiable reason for the project suspension or abandonment.

Permit Extension Form (PDF)

Permit Cancelation

If you no longer need your permit, we are happy to cancel your permit and you may be entitled to request a refund (PDF) if you meet the following criteria.

Cancel Permit Request (PDF)

Trade Permits

Trade permits include mechanical, electrical, plumbing, flatwork, and signs.

  • The permit was issued within 30 days
  • No inspections were performed

Building Permits

  • The permit was issued within 90 days
  • No work was performed on the permit (plan review or inspections)

If you no longer need your permit but the City performed a plan review or inspection, you can request that we cancel your permit without a refund.