Opening a business is a big investment of time and energy, one that the City of Fairview Park understands and appreciates. Our mission is to assist you in opening your business and making the how-to process as easy as possible while still complying with all applicable laws and regulations.

The guide provided below describes the basic steps to opening a business in Fairview Park. Other requirements may apply based on your unique situation.

If at any time during this process you have questions, please contact the Building Department at 440-356-4405.

Step 1

Find a location for your business. Review the City’s database of available commercial properties. You can also contact the Development Department for further site selection assistance.

Step 2

Contact the Building Department to confirm that the zoning of your chosen location is suitable for your type of business. We recommend completing this step before signing a lease.

Step 3

Submit an application for an occupancy permit. The Building Department will provide a blank application with instructions detailing all the information that is required. You will need to pay a $75.00 application fee and schedule an inspection.

Step 4

Your chosen location will need to be inspected by the Building Department and the Fire Department for safety hazards and code violations. These departments do their best to coordinate inspections for your convenience. The Cuyahoga County Board of Health may need to inspect the premises as well, depending on your type of business.

If no hazards or violations are found, and you do not intend to renovate or remodel the property, a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

If hazards or violations are found, they must be corrected and the property re-inspected before a Certificate of Occupancy will be issued.

Step 5

A sign permit is required before you can erect any exterior signage at your business location. Business identification and logos on awnings are considered signage. Planning & Design Commission approval may be required before a permit can be issued. Contact the Building Department to find out for sure. A completed application and application fee will need to be submitted.

Step 6

If you intend to remodel or renovate an existing commercial property or construct a new building, submit an application for a non-residential plan approval to the Building Department. The application must be accompanied by three sets of construction drawings prepared by a design professional licensed in the State of Ohio. A plan review fee will be assessed at the time of submittal. The plans will be sent to an outside plans examiner for review.

Step 7

Approval from the Planning & Design Commission is required for exterior alterations being made to an existing building and new construction. Complete an application and submit to the Building Department.

Step 8

Variances from the City’s Zoning and Building Codes may be granted by the Board of Zoning & Building Appeals if you can demonstrate a hardship or practical difficulty. You will need to complete an application and submit it to the Building Department.

Federal & State Requirements for Starting a Business

The process outlined above includes only the local requirements for opening a business in Fairview Park. You will need to do your due diligence to ensure that your business also complies with all applicable federal and state requirements.

We recommend starting with the following two resources:

If need assistance along the way with federal or state requirements, contact one of our local Small Business Development Centers.