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Need Zoning Approval for your Business?


IMPORTANT NOTE:  You MAY NOT move into a building/unit until you have been notified by our office that it is permissible to do so.  The information below will help to direct you to the proper permit procedure and provides important information for completing a USE Permit application.


If you have any questions, please call Zoning Information at (239) 533-8329 (option 1) or email


Business Location:

  • If your business will be run from your home, most businesses do not need a zoning approval.  You do, however, need to obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt from the Lee County Tax Collector.
  • If your business will be run from a commercial location and you need to remodel/alter the building/unit, please review our commercial interior remodel permit procedure.
  • If it will be run from a commercial location, and you are not remodeling/altering the building/unit, you need to apply for a USE Permit (zoning approval).  Please review the information below to determine what documents and fees will be required to make application
    • New Occupancy: you are the first tenant (building/unit has never been occupied) or the first of your business type to occupy the building or unit (ie: insurance office moving into a location that was previously a retail store).  Site plan, existing floor plan, proposed floor plan, and $100 fee required.
    • Tenant Change: you are moving into a building/unit previously occupied by a business that is the same type as yours (ie: a restaurant replacing another restaurant).  Site plan, existing floor plan, proposed floor plan are required.  Fee will be $100, unless our building inspection office has performed an inspection within the last two years, in which case, a $35 fee will apply.
    • Shared Space-Office:  you are sharing office space only with a business which is the same or similar to yours (ie: an accountant moving into an office currently occupied by another accountant).   Name of current business and $35 fee required.
    • Shared Space-Other: you are sharing space, other than standard office space, with another business (ie: a retail store moving into a building/unit currently occupied by a beauty shop).  Name of current business, site plan, existing floor plan, proposed floor plan, and $100 fee required.
    • Executive Suite:  you will be occupying a space in an approved executive suite facility.  Click here for a list of approved executive suite facilities.  Name of executive suite facility and $35 fee required.
    • Charter Boat: you will be operating a charter boat service from a marina facility.  Name of marina, letter of permission from marina, passenger capacity of boat, and $35 fee required.
    • Horse Boarding (non-commercial) Stable:  Site plan, proof of restroom facilities, and $35 fee required.
    • Plant Nursery: Non-retail plant nursery on agriculturally zoned property.  Site plan, proof of restroom facilities, and $35 fee required. 

NOTE:  For information regarding Auto Sales, Impound Yard, Hot Dog Stands, Lunch Wagons, or Ice Cream Trucks, please call (239)533-8329, option 1, PRIOR to making application.  


Submittal Document Information:

  • Site plan: depicting property lines, building location and parking layout.  Site plans may be hand drawn. Site plans are not required if you will occupy a unit in a shopping center consisting of five units or more.
  • Existing AND Proposed Floor Plans: depicting building layout, entrances/exits, location of electrical outlets.  Label on all rooms/areas within the building with the proposed use.  Floor plans may be hand drawn, but must accurately depict the existing and proposed use of the building/unit.  It is important that you depict any proposed changes on the proposed floor plan, including structural, plumbing, electrical and mechanical (AC) so that we can provide information on any additional permits required.  This will insure that your permit process is completed as quickly as possible.
  • Proof of Restroom Facilities: may be in the form of a port-a-let contract or a letter allowing use of facilities in a building located on the property.


Inspection Information:

Once the USE permit application is submitted and payment/required documents are received, our office will provide you with a list of required inspections/reviews and contact information to schedule them.  You may require inspections from the following agencies, dependent on your application type.

  • Zoning/Code Enforcement: required for all application types.
  • Building Inspection: required for new occupancy, tenant change,  and shared space-other application types.
  • Fire Inspection: required for new occupancy, tenant change, and shared space other applications.  Additional fees, imposed by the fire department, may apply.  Though an inspection is not required, the local fire department will be notified of your application for all shared space-office and executive suite applications. 
  • Garbage Verification: required for new occupancy and tenant change applications.
  • Septic and Well Verifications: required if your business is served by a septic system or water well (as opposed to public water and sewer service).  Additional fees, imposed by the appropriate agencies, may apply.
  • Power Release: the power company will be notified by our office once you have completed all required inspections. 


Completing the Process:

After all approvals are received by our office, your Certificate of Use will be issued, allowing you to occupy the location and obtain your Local Business Tax Receipt from the Lee County Tax Collector.  You MUST have both a Certificate of Use (or a Certificate of Occupancy if a building permit is required) and a Local Business Tax Receipt in order to open your business.


Important Note Regarding Signs: 

Additional permits are required for any signs erected or modified for your business.  Please see our sign permit procedure for additional information.


Additional business start-up resources can be found here.


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