If you are opening a business in Boston, one of the many tasks on your checklist is making sure to satisfy all of the permitting requirements imposed by the city government. Here are a few considerations you don’t want to overlook.
Is your signage in compliance?
If your business is located in a historical building, historical district or Main Street district, your signage must undergo a review before you can permanently raise it for display. Even if your business is not in one of these zones, it may still require review by the Boston Redevelopment Authority.
Do you have a plan for site cleanliness?
The city is concerned with the sanitary condition of new and existing businesses. Before opening your business, you must obtain a license for trash storage and removal and have a plan in place regarding dumpster sites, maintenance and pest control.
Are there flammable materials in your store?
Another type of certificate you may have to obtain is a flammability certificate for each item in your building that could potentially pose a fire hazard. You don’t have to sell combustible items to require this type of certificate. Common items such as curtains, upholstered chairs and carpeting may pose a fire risk and require this special documentation.
You may require special permits if you plan on any of the following:
- Displaying merchandise outside of your building
- Weighing and measuring food
- Offering a pool table for customer use
- Opening a sidewalk cafe
- Offering valet parking
This is a small sampling of all of the zoning and permitting issues you will have to contend with as a business owner. If this aspect of running a business seems like a time sink, remember, you don’t have to handle it alone. By taking care of these items today, you can spare yourself the fines and delays that will surely come if you violate a zoning or permitting ordinance.