Jacksonville, Florida is a city known for its vibrant manufacturing, banking, healthcare, and tourism industries. Over recent years, it has also been part of Florida’s historic growth and was the 5th fastest growing city in the U.S. between 2021 and 2022. As a result, Jacksonville has become an extremely attractive location for businesses looking to grow and expand. However, as with most cities across the country, acquiring building permits in Jacksonville presents some unique challenges. To give you a solid foundation to start from, we’ve put together this guide to the permitting process in Jacksonville.

Key Players in Jacksonville

In Jacksonville, FL, you’ll primarily be dealing with the Building Inspection Division, and the Zoning section of the Planning and Development Department, both of which are involved in the permitting of nearly every commercial project.

You’ll also need to work with the Development Management Group of the Engineering Division. This department is responsible for ensuring that adequate public facilities and services are available during the impact of your project’s development.

The Process for Getting Building Permits in Jacksonville

Step 1: Acquire Necessary Pre-Approvals

The first step in getting your building permits in Jacksonville, FL is to acquire the necessary pre-approvals. For many projects, you’ll need to get both zoning and concurrency management approval before you can apply for your permits. Zoning approval can be quick if your project falls inline with all current regulations.

However, for concurrency management, the Development Management Group requires a civil engineering plan review for all new commercial building projects. This can be extensive and requires a 10-set preliminary and 10-set final review. The whole process involves multiple agencies. While you can submit your building plans to the city before this is complete, your permits will not be issued until your project successfully passes through this process.

Step 2: Prepare All Necessary Paperwork

When all pre-approvals are in place, it’s time to prepare the paperwork for your application. In Jacksonville, you’ll need to have a variety of plans, drawings, and specifications, including: 

  • A site development plan
  • Architectural drawings and specifications
  • Structural drawings and specifications
  • And mechanical, plumbing, and electrical drawings and specifications

An experienced permitting expediter (like those at Scout Services) streamlines this process by ensuring everything is accurate and complete down to the most minute details. Without guidance, getting this right can take a lot of time and effort.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

The next step in acquiring building permits in Jacksonville is to submit your application! Jacksonville requires all permit applications to be submitted online via their online portal (note that they transitioned from their old system to one called JaxEPIC in late 2023). 

Again, it’s essential to ensure that all required elements are included in your application. Even one missing signature or incorrect piece of information can delay your application for several days or even weeks. The expertise of a permitting expediter is invaluable to your success here.

Another important thing to note is that in Jacksonville, all digital signatures must comply with specific Florida regulations, which are outlined on the official Florida government website.

Step 4: Initial Review and Addressing Comments

Again, a number of pre-approvals must be granted before your application can enter into review. We already discussed zoning and concurrency management. In addition to these, you’ll also need to receive pre-approval from the following agencies:

  • JEA Water and Sewer Business Unit
  • Development Management Group
  • Landscape by Building Inspection Division
  • St. Johns River Water Management District

Once these are completed, your project will enter into review, which can take several weeks depending on the city’s capacity and how many applications they’re taking in. You should always expect your application to come back with comments. This is extremely common (and often times unavoidable) during the permitting process. Permit expediters can assist you in addressing all comments in a timely manner.

Step 5: Resubmit for Permit Approval and Issuance

Once you have addressed all the comments from the initial review, you’ll need to resubmit your applications for a second review. The timeline of this process can vary drastically based on how many comments your application received and how serious those comments were.

But once your application has passed through all necessary reviews and received full approval, you and your contractor will be notified via email. The email will detail how you can obtain your Jacksonville building permits online.


Q: What codes are currently enforced in Jacksonville?

As of the writing of this article, the codes that are currently in place in Jacksonville are listed on their official website. They include:

  • Florida Building Code 7th Edition (2020). This includes:
    • Florida Building Code, Building
    • Florida Building Code, Fuel Gas
    • Florida Building Code, Mechanical
    • Florida Building Code, Plumbing
    • Florida Building Code, Accessibility
    • Florida Building Code, Energy Conservation
    • Florida Building Code, Existing Building
    • For Electrical provisions, the current code is the NFPA 70 – NEC 2017.
    • For Fire prevention provisions, the current code is the Florida Fire Prevention Code

Q: How long does the review process take in Jacksonville?

You should expect 25-30 business days for the initial review for your building permits. However, please note that this only applies to the review for your building permits. The various pre-approvals outlined above can take months of effort to complete, and your application will not move forward until those pre-approvals are obtained. 

It’s also important to keep in mind that while Jacksonville continues to grow, it will likely have a high volume of submissions, which can impact that expected turnaround time. Resubmissions are usually reviewed within 10 business days.

Again, permitting experts can help you streamline this process. Permit expediters can help you approach the process of getting building permits in Jacksonville with a strategy for success and timeliness.

Q: What are some of the special requirements my project might face?

Many commercial projects in Jacksonville will need to comply with the State of Florida law which requires energy efficiency forms and calculations. There are also special additional approvals required for specific projects, including restaurants, supermarkets, bars, lounges, etc.

Scout Services Can Expedite Your Commercial Building Permits in Jacksonville

At Scout Services, we have years of experience working with the Jacksonville permitting system. We’re one of the nation’s leading permit expediters for commercial construction projects across the country. Our team of experts stay up-to-date on all regulations and codes so you can be sure your applications are complete and accurate upon submission. We’ve worked with clients in a broad range of industries, including retail, hospitality, office renovations,  and others. 

Do you want experts on your side while obtaining building permits in Jacksonville or anywhere else in the U.S? Contact us today and we can get started on your project within 24 hours.