Contact Information

2122 Campus Dr SE Suite 300
Rochester, Mn 55904 (Map)

Phone: 507-328-2600
Fax: 507-328-2601

Mon-Fri 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Department Contacts

The building permit application process for commercial structures begins with submittal of an application and required documents to the Building Safety Department. The process also includes review and approval of a Zoning Certificate by the Community Development Department, and may involve reviews by other City and County departments. Plans are reviewed for compliance with the current Minnesota State Building Code. Plan review may result in a correction letter which would require additional documents and/or clarification resubmitted in response, prior to plan approval and permit issuance.

Commercial Construction Project Building Application Procedure


Building Permits

Commercial Building application

Multi-Family Building application

Demolition application form and process instructions

Grading application

Manufactured Home Park application


Trade Permits

Trade permits are required when any new electrical, mechanical, or plumbing is added to a structure. The following are the various trade permits available:

    Electrical Permit

    Overhead Service/Underground Service

    Fireplace Permit

    Gas Piping Permit 

    Hydronic Permit 

    Mechanical Permit

    Plumbing Permit  


    Sign permit application

    NOTES for sign permits:

    1) A business owner may install their own signs.

    2)   City Sign Contractor's License:  If you engage in the business of sign or outdoor advertising by erecting or maintaining signs within the city, you need to obtain a Sign Contractor's License from the City Clerk's Office, (507) 328-2900.

    3)   Information Required:  Plans and data required for a sign permit are listed on the bottom of the first page of the Sign Permit Application form.  You may put all wall signage on the same building on one application.  Separate sign permits are required for each ground/pylon sign.

    4)   A sign permit is not required if you are only replacing the sign faces.



    Commercial Building

    Four (4) fees are collected for a commercial building permit in Rochester.  The fees are:  building permit, plan review, zoning, and Minnesota state surcharge.  Note:  A Water Reclamation Plant Investment Fee (PIF) may also be charged. 

    Multi-Family Building

    Trade Permit Fee Schedule

     There are three (3) fees collected for a trade permit in Rochester.  The fees are:  application, permit, and Minnesota state surcharge.  The permit valuation shall include total value of all construction work, including materials and labor, for which the permit is being issued.


    There are three (3) fees collected for a grading permit in Rochester.  The fees included are a grading permit, plan review, and zoning. Fees are based on total number of cubic yards of excavation or fill, whichever is greater.


    Three (3) fees are collected for a sign permit in Rochester.  The fees are sign permit, plan review and zoning.  All signs are classified by the Community Development Department as either a business or advertising sign.  The zoning fee due will be either a Business or Advertising sign zoning fee.


    A demolition permit has building and zoning fees.  Note:  There may be a separate charge for a well/septic inspection.  Please call  the Well and Septic Division of the Olmsted County Planning Department at (507) 328-7111 if you have questions.

    Refund of Permit Fees/To Cancel or Void Permits

    Rochester Code of Ordinances Chapter 4-1 Sec.4-1-4 states the Building Official must authorize refunding of any fee that was erroneously paid or collected, or if none of the work authorized by the permit has been performed.  The Building Official may not authorize refunding of any permit fee except upon written application filed by the original permittee not later than 180 days after the date of permit issuance.  Plan review fees, IRC footing permit fees and application fees will not be refunded.

    Please complete, sign and return the Request for Refund of Permit Fees form.  (Please note that the $25.00 application fee is nonrefundable.) This form is also used to cancel or void a permit.


    Minimum Building Valuation Guidelines




    Required Inspections

    The Inspection Division of the Rochester Building Safety Department administers the Minnesota State Building Code by performing the inspections required by the appropriate sections of Chapter 1300.
    Required inspections are typically identified on the permit card, but additional or other inspections may be required to verify code compliance. If you have questions about whether an inspection is required before proceeding, please call the Building Safety Department for clarification.
    Inspection requests may be scheduled on line through Citizen Access or are accepted by phone from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM daily by Building Safety staff by calling (507) 328-2600. Requests must be made one day prior to the inspection. Please have your permit number available when calling and requesting inspections to expedite the process.

     Inspection Scheduling Policy for Commercial Building Projects:

     Typically the below schedule is followed, but Contractors may request either AM or PM inspections when calling. A contact name and number is required when making the inspection.

    Address Quadrant Inspection Timing
    NW and SW AM (morning)
    NE and SE PM (afternoon)



    When is a Certificate of Occupancy required?

    A Certificate of Occupancy is required before any new building can be put into use, or before an existing building can be used for a new purpose (e.g., retail space converted to a school).  MN SBC Section 1300.0220. 

    Certificate of Occupancy Checklist (pdf)

    What types of Certificates of Occupancy are available?

    PERMANENT  - Issued for a new building or a portion of an existing building that has changed use. 

    This type of certificate is issued when all the work authorized by the construction permits is complete and all required inspections have been completed and approved. 

    Certificate of Occupancies are valid for the life of the structure if no changes are made.  

    TEMPORARY  - May be issued to part of a building undergoing phased construction to allow occupancy while the construction continues.

    The building must be safe for non-construction personnel to occupy while the construction proceeds.

    Temporary Certificate of Occupancies have very specific limitations and always include an expiration time-frame.