Miami-Dade Certificate of Occupancy

In the ever changing property market there are terms which you should familiarize yourself with that will help you in the process to get you on your way to enjoying a foreclosed property in the Miami-Dade area. There is some key information that you will need to know to assist you in the process.

First and foremost Miami-Dade County requires a Certificate of Use Inspection along with a disclosure of findings on the property. This can be a complicated process; however our goal is to walk you through step by step to make the process as quick and simple as possible. Obtaining a Certificate of Use in Miami-Dade can be frustrating as it is a fairly complex process that requires careful attention to details as well as following a list of steps to ensure you have everything in place.

In order to understand the legalese of the process it would be helpful to define exactly what a certificate of use is. The Miami-Dade certificate of use essentially is a zoning permit. Before occupying any commercial, office location, industrial and residential location that was foreclosed, the new owner must obtain the certificate of use prior to occupancy.

When the property is purchased, you may begin work such as remodeling, however be sure to get all pertinent permits required to complete the necessary work. After all final inspections are complete, and then you must apply for the Certificate of Use and Occupancy. Once this is obtained, Florida utilities will be contacted and they will supply electricity to the location for use.

You need the Certificate of Occupancy as it ensures the business you are moving into the location is allowed in the zoning district of the property. Additionally it ensures the structure is suitable for the type of business you plan to open.

When you are ready to apply for the Certificate of Use and Occupancy, you will need to gather the following information for the application process:

  • Location and / or address
  • Name of the business
  • Corporation name
  • Corporate officer, title
  • Type of business
  • Square footage of occupied space
  • Folio number of property (means by which a property is identified in Miami-Dade County. This is also referred to as the parcel identifier and represents a unique number used to identify a property)

Once you have collected all the necessary information there are a few ways to apply for a Certificate of Use and Occupancy.

  • Apply in person at the Stephen P. Clark Center – 111 NW First Street – 12th Floor
  • Via Fax – Call 305-271-1242 and select options 1, 4, 2 and 7. This will allow you to have the application faxed directly to you. Once the application is complete fax back to 305-375-2811.
  • Of if you prefer you can take you completed application directly to the Stephen P. Clark Center between the business hours of 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.

Once your completed application is submitted, it will be reviewed to verify what type of business is permitted for that specific zoning area. If the property you have selected is not permitted, the application will be declined. If this happens you have the option of applying for a zoning hearing with the Community Zoning Appeals Board. During this hearing you can request the zoning be changed for the property. For additional information regarding zoning hearings contact the office at 305-375-2640.

If the Certificate of Occupancy is granted, the business may need to be inspected before the certificate is fully granted. Typically it takes approximately two to three days for the inspection to take place. Inspections consist of reviewing the building, zoning, plumbing and mechanical to ensure they are up to safety and code.

Typically the Certificate of Occupancy can be issued the same day the application is received if submitted in person. Applications sent via mail or fax usually requires additional processing time and can take up to 1 week for review and approval.

The cost of a Certificate of Occupancy and Use in Miami-Dade is calculated on the square footage of the property that will be in use. The rate of fee is assessed at 3 cents per square foot. The certificate is issued on a permanent basis given that the business does not move, expand or change ownership or name. Only business such as schools, night-clubs, day care centers are typically required to renew annually during a zoning hearing.


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