Permit (City)

Below is a brief overview of commercial-related permitting within the City.

For more information, visit the Building/Permits Department page or contact 301-600-3808.


Certificate of Occupancy – required prior to the occupation of any structure.

  • If entering a space without doing any construction/renovation work (i.e. electric or plumbing): application for the Zoning Permit (and Certificate of Occupancy) can be found here.
  • If you are doing construction/renovation work, the Certificate of Occupancy will be triggered by your application for building permits.

Construction/Renovation Work


  • Comprehensive sign regulations can be found in Article 8 Sec 864 of the City’s Code.
  • Applications may be found here.
  • For those businesses located in the Historic District, the Historic District Approval Application can be found here. 

Wastewater Pretreatment Program

  • The City regulates commercial users of the Publicly Owned Treatment Works by administering and enforcing the Industrial Pretreatment Ordinance. Through the program, the Department of Public Works issues FOG Control & wastewater discharge permits, and monitors/inspects industrial users' facilities. More information can be found here
  • Contact the Department of Public Works with questions.

Food-industry Permits

  • Sidewalk Café - Sidewalk cafes are allowed in city commercial districts, including Downtown Frederick. There are regulations for both enclosed and open outdoor seating areas in the City’s Code. An enclosed seating area requires a permit. Outdoor service of alcohol also requires Frederick County Liquor Board approval.
  • Restaurant with Entertainment Approval - Restaurants that plan to have live music and other entertainment must first obtain approval for entertainment from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).
  • Vendors/Peddlers – Mobile vendors (including Food Trucks) are permitted to operate in the City, in designated areas. Contact our department to request a map of these areas. Breweries and distilleries may also apply to Food Trucks to operate on their private premises.

Special Event Permits

  • Large Event –For an event held outside on private property that is anticipated to have 2,000 or more individuals in attendance at a time (Submit 90 days prior to event)
  • Non Large – For special events held outside on private property with less than 2,000 in attendance (submit 45 days prior to event)

One Stop Shop

Same day permitting is available on Tuesdays from 8 am – 11 am for the following projects:

  • fences, decks, sheds, pools/hot tubs/spas, residential interior renovation, basement finish, garage/carports, re-roofing, residential paving (pavers, concrete asphalt), retaining walls under 5’ high, commercial fit-outs under 5,000 sf with no change in use, signs, demolition (accessory structures with no utilities), temporary trailers, and zoning application.
  • If located in the Historic Preservation District, applicants must provide 2 copies of the HPC Certificate of Approval and all supporting documentation in order to be eligible for the One Stop Shop.

 For more information, visit the Building/Permits Department page or contact 301-600-3808.