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Permit Navigator

A SmartCityPHL project


The City is piloting a new tool to make permitting information more accessible. The Permit Navigator will help residents:

  • Find out what types of permits they need for certain residential and commercial uses.
  • Determine the approximate permit costs.
  • Locate related information on, such as a permit's application process and other details.

This pilot project will reduce barriers and help residents navigate the existing permitting system more efficiently. It will not replace the City's current processes.

Residents and business owners may send feedback on the navigator to



Project scope

For this pilot, the navigator will support a limited number of residential and business use cases.

Residential use cases

The navigator includes permits for renovations to established one- or two-family residences.

At this time, it doesn't include permits related to:

  • New construction.
  • Mixed-use buildings.
  • Buildings with more than two units, including individual units in a condominium.

Business use cases

The navigator includes permits and licenses needed to open or expand a storefront business. This type of business includes:

  • Offices (such as those for medical, dental, or health group practitioners).
  • Retail sales (such as groceries, apparel, building supplies, etc.)
  • Commercial services (such as entertainment businesses, restaurants, financial services, etc.)
  • Public, civic, and institutional use (such as child or adult care centers).

You can view a full list of the available business use cases in the navigator.

Ready to try the Permit Navigator?

The tool will gather information about your project and provide a summary of the required permits, their cost, and links to related content.


  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Licenses and Inspections
  • Department of Planning and Development
  • Department of Public Health
  • Department of Streets