The Permit Management Office of the Department of Economic Development and Commerce, was transformed from the full implementation of the Permit Reform, created to give greater transparency and facilitate the application process for the multiple products that this agency processes with in order to facilitate the business development of entrepreneurs.
- The Permit Regulation that entered into force on June 7, 2019 consolidates dozens of procedures, licenses and certifications, to facilitate the way of doing business.
- The Sole Permit includes the Use Permit, the Environmental Compliance License, the Fire Prevention Certification, the Sanitary License and any other type of license or applicable authorization required for the operation of the activity or use of the business.
- The renewal of the Sole Permit is consolidated in a single process and includes the licenses and certifications necessary for the operation of the business. Use is not evaluated or charged again. The renewal requirements are minimal, if the permit includes licenses in addition to the sanitary license and fire prevention certification.
- The use of a funeral home with a chapel, funeral services and an embalming room is included in the Sole Permit, which includes a Fire Prevention Certification and Sanitary License.
- The Sole Permit is renewed annually, through the Single Business Portal digital platform, at no additional cost for each procedure carried out (costs remain the same as in 2010).
- Vehicle Inspection Centers at gas stations no longer need a license from the Department of Transportation and Public Works. Now they only need a Sole Permit, which includes the Official Vehicle Inspection Station License.
Permits and Processes
- The sole permit consolidates and incorporates procedures in a single application, to simplify procedures and reduce the evaluation and adjudication time of the requests required to start or continue the operation of a business.
- All new or existing buildings, with non-residential uses, as well as any new or existing business, will obtain the Sole Permit to start or continue operations, which will include:
- Use Permit
- Categorical Exclusion Certification
- Fire Prevention Certification
- Sanitary license
- Any other type of license or applicable authorization required for the operation of the activity or use of the business, as provided in these regulations.
For the operation of a business, only a Sole Permit is required that contains all the uses approved for said establishment. For example, the uses of chapel, funeral services and embalming room are included in the Sole Permit.
The costs of permits, licenses and certifications remain the same as in 2010.
Compulsory Licenses and Certifications – Incorporated into the Sole Permit
- Fire Prevention Certificate
- Sanitary license
- Licenses alcoholic beverages and cigarettes
- Retail Traffickers in Alcoholic Beverages, including Categories A, B and C
- Limited Time Alcoholic Beverage Traffickers
- Limited Time Traffickers in Cigarettes and Alcoholic Beverages
- Traffickers Wholesale in Wines
- Traffickers Wholesale in Beer
- Wholesale alcoholic beverages dealers
- Wholesale Trafficker of Alcoholic Beverages, Wines or Beers from a Motor Vehicle
- Beer Manufacturers License
- Wine Makers License
- Fixed Site Wholesale Cigarette Dealer
- Wholesale Cigarette Dealer from a Motor Vehicle
- Cigarette Dealers Retailers Fixed Site, Street and for each Cigarette Vending Machine
- Gasoline Licenses
- Wholesale Gasoline License
- Vehicle Licenses
- License for Motor Vehicle and Towing Dealer
- Limited Time Vehicle License for Motor Vehicles, Parts and Accessories
- Wholesale and Retail Vehicle Parts and Accessories, Including Classes A, B and C
- Inspection Center Licenses
- License for Official Vehicle Inspection Station
- License for Official Inspection Station Authorized to Collect Renewal and Premium Rights
Renewal of Sole Permit – Joint Regulation
- In the renewal of the Sole Permit, the renewal of the licenses and certifications necessary for the operation of the business is consolidated in a single procedure. Previously authorized use or uses are not evaluated or charged again. Only additional uses are charged.
- Renewal requirements: Complete the application in the Single Business Portal, certify that the use is the same and provide photos.
Occupation Authorization – Joint Regulation
- In those cases in which the petitioner cannot fulfill any condition required for the approval of licenses or certifications, as part of a Sole Permit, he may request an Occupation Authorization, justifying such request.
- The OGPe’s Assistant Secretary may, at his discretion and taking into consideration the entire case file, as long as it does not affect the safety and well-being of the occupants, grant an Occupation Authorization.
- Up to 60 days may be granted for the petitioner to meet all the requirements. During this term, the petitioner may start operations.
- Before the term granted expires, the petitioner must submit evidence of having complied with all the established requirements. Once all the requirements have been met, the Sole Permit will be issued.
Conditional Use Permit (Sole Conditional Permit)
- They may be issued by the Permit Management Office, the Autonomous Municipalities with hierarchy from I to V and the Authorized Professionals, to individuals or small and medium-sized companies, for the establishment of a new own business or for the extension of a business existing.
- The start of a new commercial activity will not be delayed if you cannot immediately comply with any of the requirements established by Law 161 for the granting of a use permit for your business.
- Every individual or entity will be allowed to start operations through a Conditional Use Permit, in case they do not have the required certifications at the time of requesting said permit, indicating the conditions with which they will have to comply. A maximum term of 6 months will be granted from the issue of the conditional permit.
- The missing certifications at the time of requesting the Conditional Permit will have to be presented before the expiration of the 6-month term. The time the applicant is waiting for the requested certification to be issued will not count for this term, counted from the filing date of said application.
Those who qualify for the Conditional Permit:
- Retail stores
- Commercial offices
- Professional offices
- Medical offices
- Beauty salons
- Small businesses for sale and service, not involving food preparation and sale
- Any other use determined by regulation
Consolidated Construction Permit
This consolidates four permits: construction, remodeling, demolition and urbanization works. The system validates and grants the permit when the request is processed by an architect or professional engineer licensed in Puerto Rico.
Consolidated Construction Permit:
- Urbanization works
Building Code – Fire Enforcement Certification (Code Enforcement)
- The compliance requirements to obtain the Fire Prevention Certification are established in the 2018 Building Codes.
- Sprinkler requirement requirements remain the same as in 2007.
- The Joint Regulation does not contain design requirements for compliance with the Fire Prevention Certification.
- All establishments or premises that request a Fire Certification must be in compliance with and comply with the provisions of the Building Code, the Fire Codes in force and any other applicable regulations, adopted by the OGPe and promulgated by the Puerto Rico Fire Bureau.
Sole Incidental Operational Permit
It consolidates four procedures: authorization for cutting and pruning, a consolidated general permit, incidental activity and incidental activity for other projects. They may be necessary when a project already has a building permit.
- Single Incidental Operational Permit:
- Incidental Activity Permit to an Authorized Work
- Incidental Activity Permits for Public Infrastructure
- Cutting, Pruning, Transplanting and Tree System Authorization