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Permits, violations & licenses

Get a Demolition Contractor’s License

Service overview

You must be a licensed demolition contractor to tear down or demolish a building.

There are two license categories:

  • Class A allows for the complete demolition of any structure.
  • Class B allows for the complete demolition of a building that is:
    • No more than three stories,
    • With a maximum height of 40 ft, and
    • With a maximum area of 10,000 sq. ft.

This license is not required for interior or partial demolition. That work can be done under other contractor licenses.

The Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) issues this license.

Who

Individual contractors can apply for this license.

Requirements

Other licenses and registrations

Insurance

You must provide a Certificate of Insurance that includes these minimum amounts:

  • General Liability: $2,000,000 per occurrence
  • Automobile Liability Insurance: $300,000
  • Worker’s Compensation:
    • $100,000 per accident
    • $100,000 per employee
    • $500,000 policy limit

The City of Philadelphia must be named as additional insured and certificate holder.

License bond

  • Class A: Provide a license bond for $50,000 with an original seal.
  • Class B: Provide a license bond for $10,000 with an original seal.

This bond must be issued by a surety company. The surety company must hold a certificate of authority to do business in Pennsylvania, with a minimum surety underwriting limitation of $1,000,000.

Named demolition site safety manager

You must identify at least one manager who ensures safe practices on demolition sites and compliance with the approved site safety plan. For this person, you must submit:

A site safety manager can only be employed by one company.

Named demolition supervisor

You must identify at least one supervisor responsible for developing site safety plans. For this person, you must submit:

  • Proof of successful completion of the Philadelphia Demolition Contractor Examination (Class A or Class B). This exam is administered by the International Code Council.

The exam must reference the current version of the Philadelphia Code and associated standards or your application must be submitted within 12 months of successful completion of the exam.

  • Proof of employment through pay stub or W-2.

A demolition supervisor may only be employed by one company.

Additional requirements for Class A demolition contractors

You must submit proof of three years experience in the field of demolition as both site safety manager and demolition supervisor. Work history must be documented through:

  • Federal tax records showing employment in the field under a demolition contractor.
  • Resume identifying specific work experience.

If you hold a comparable license from another state or county, L&I will review to determine if you meet the minimum standards for a Class A demolition contractor.

Tax compliance

You must be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.

Where and when

Online

You can apply online using eCLIPSE.

In person

Permit and License Center
1401 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
MSB, Public Service Concourse
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Office hours: 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday

Offices close at noon on the last Wednesday of each month.

In-person services at the Permit and License Center are currently available by appointment only.

Cost

License fee
$207

A non-refundable application fee of $20 is applied to the license fee. The balance of the license fee is due once your application is approved.

Renewal fee
$207

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

Payment methods and details

Accepted payment methods

Where Accepted payment
Online through the eCLIPSE application

(There is a $200,000 limit for online payments.)

  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Permit and License Center in the Municipal Services Building
  • Electronic check
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
In person at the Cashier’s Station in the Municipal Services Building

(Items paid at the Cashier’s Station will be mailed within five business days.)

  • Check
  • Money order
  • Credit card (+2.25% surcharge)
  • Cash

Checks and money orders

Check requirements
  • Make all checks and money orders payable to the “City of Philadelphia.”
  • The individual or company listed on the check must be listed on the application.
  • Personal checks are accepted.
  • Checks and money orders must have issue dates within 12 months of the transaction.
Reasons your check may be rejected

L&I will not accept checks that are missing depository information or are:

  • Unsigned.
  • Expired.
  • Post-dated.
  • Starter checks without account info.

Returned payment policy

If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds:

  1. You will be charged a $20 fee for collection.
  2. You authorize the City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect this fee directly.
  3. The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.
  4. If the City is unable to obtain payment, the license, permit, or appeal application will be void.
  5. You cannot take any additional action under a permit until you have paid all fees.
  6. The permit or license will be revoked if the outstanding fees are not paid within 30 days.
  7. You cannot file or obtain additional permits until you resolve the outstanding debt.

Late license payment

If you renew your license more than 60 days after the due date, you will be charged 1.5% of the license fee for each month since the license expired.

How

You can apply for this license online using eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

Online

1
Upload all required documents.

Applications are reviewed within five business days.

2
If the application is approved, you will receive a notice to pay the balance.

 If the application isn’t approved, you will receive an email stating what is missing or required.

In person

1
Visit the Permit and License Center.

L&I can review most applications while you wait.

2
L&I will either issue your license or request more information.

Renewal requirements

This license must be renewed annually. You can renew online through eCLIPSE or in person at the Permit and License Center.

To renew your license, you must:

  • Be current on all City of Philadelphia taxes.
  • Have proof of active insurance.
  • Have eligible supervisor information on file with L&I. 
    • The supervisor must maintain a current OSHA 30 safety training certificate. If L&I has already accepted an OSHA 30 Construction and Safety certificate from the supervisor, they can take 30 hours of continuing education credits in construction or demolition safety instead of retaking the OSHA 30 course.

Forms & instructions


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