Get a Racking Permit Painlessly

For any company looking to build or update a warehouse, time is essential. Manufacturing and distribution have been picking up post-COVID, and brands need more space to store and move their products and materials. Acquiring a racking permit is a necessary and often time-consuming step in the warehouse build or upgrade process.

Your distribution process relies on readily available space — if permits are holding you up from gaining additional warehouse space, it’s time to take action. If you’re considering a warehouse build or upgrade, be proactive and work with a reliable permit expediter that can help you start off strong. This will ensure that you submit the right materials to the right people to keep your project moving in the right direction.

Read on to find out how the right partner streamlines the warehouse permit process so you can get to work and gain warehouse shelf space faster.

Permit Type

Whether it’s pallet racks, high-pile storage, material handling, cold storage, catwalks, or mezzanines, obtaining the right racking permit is critical, but in-house teams and project managers may not know what is needed or where to start. Each type of warehouse storage must follow specific guidelines at the local levels, which is difficult to have a comprehensive view of if you’re not well-versed in building permits.

Additionally, the permitting materials you must submit, as well as where to submit them and in which order, will differ depending on your location. This complicates permitting for warehouse projects.

For pallet racks, making sure the layout follows all fire codes and all racks are designed to be structurally sound are the main points that permits will address. Sprinkler systems must be inspected and found to be optimized for high-pile storage systems and the type of goods you’re storing, or else high-pile storage racks may need fire safety additions like rack sprinklers or fire baffles.

Catwalks and mezzanines are meant to enhance employee safety and convenience, but if not built up to the correct code they can actually pose a safety hazard. Catwalks are also a great way to gain more space within your current warehouse. Making sure your catwalks are not only OSHA compliant — with items like correct dimensions, structural stability, and proper fall protection — but also that they are following all local rules and regulations for your jurisdiction will help you to start on a catwalk build or upgrade faster, as well as ensuring its safe use moving forward.

With the right partner, all permit types needed for the project, whether building permits, high pile storage, or fire permits are identified upfront, saving your team valuable time in not having to research and guess (which can be costly and cause delays). Avoid corrections and get the job done right the first time by working with an expert in warehouse permits.


Permit requirements and authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs) need key items to process a racking permit. Why waste time submitting incomplete permit packages and experiencing delays when you can work with a reliable partner who knows what’s needed up front?

Most AHJs require a site plan, floor plan, design drawings, engineered calculations, and a list of items to be stored before processing building permits for racking builds or upgrades. However, there isn’t a catch-all list of requirements that fits every jurisdiction.

Discovering which AHJs actually have jurisdiction in your area often presents a challenge in itself. Even then, being able to connect with the right people in your town’s Building Department and navigate the difficult-to-find or confusingly stated submittal requirements for an on-time and correct submittal are processes laden with red tape.

With the right partner, all site/floor plans, drawings, calculations, and other information are quickly gathered for more rapid and seamless processing of the permit application. Working with a permit expediter that has pre-established relationships with key plans examiners in Building Departments across the country will also rid your days of the long waits on hold and being transferred within the Building Department.

Knowledge is a hot commodity within the permitting process. Having the right experience and expertise speeds up approvals — knowing which AHJs have jurisdiction, knowing the submittal requirements, and knowing who to contact directly with questions or concerns gets you on-site and working much more quickly and painlessly.


In addition to building permits, you’ll also need to obtain fire department approval to ensure your warehouse racking or other setup isn’t causing obstructions or any other safety hazards. Whatever natural threats exist in your area will also need to be addressed within the permitting and approval process.

For example, depending on your project location, you may be required to also follow the Uniform Building Code (UBC) which sets parameters for over eight-foot-high storage structures being seismically engineered. In states like California where earthquakes are a persistent threat, large storage racks can pose a huge safety issue for warehouse personnel. Proper permitting and following every regulation in the structural set-up of your warehouse racks is not only important in a legal sense but also from a personal safety aspect because it will help reduce this risk and protect your employees.

With the right partner, you’ll know what’s needed upfront. If you proactively start working with a company during the planning process, you’ll be able to factor their knowledge into the layout to ensure it’s safe from the start. If you have to move racks due to corrections after a safety inspection, that can be a costly and tremendous undertaking, so it’s better to partner with an expert who can help you do it right the first time.

Scout Services Can Fast-Forward Your Racking Permit Process

No matter the project or jurisdiction, Scout Services has the expertise and contacts to improve your permitting experiences. Our commercial permit expediting services will help you acquire the building permit and any other approvals you need to move forward.

We assign each project to one of our expert permit expediters for excellent one-on-one service and consistent communication. Our national database with over 7,000 municipalities and their requirements makes it easy to prepare submittals correctly the first time — bypassing holdups and avoiding costly corrections.

Connect with Scout and put our experts to work for your warehouse racking project today.