​​​​​​​​IMPORTANT: You MAY NOT move into a building/unit until you have been notified by our office that it is permissible to do so. The information below will help to direct you to the proper permit procedure and provides important information for completing a USE Permit application.​​

If you have any questions, please call Zoning Information at 239-533-8329, option 1; or email OccsZoning@leegov.com.

 Business Location​:

  • If your business will be run from your home, most businesses do not need a zoning approval, but compliance with Land Development Code (LDC) Sec. 34-1771/1772 is required. You do, however, need to obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt from the Lee County Tax Collector.
  • If your business will be run from a commercial location, and you are not remodeling/altering the building/unit, you need to apply for an Occupancy Inspection Checklist permit (zoning approval). Please review the information below and refer to the Occupancy Guide for more information and a link to the paper application. 
    • New Occupancy: You are the first tenant (building/unit has never been occupied) or the first of your business type to occupy the building or unit (example: insurance office moving into a location that was previously a retail store).  
    • Tenant Change: You are moving into a building/unit previously occupied by a business that is the same type as yours (example: a restaurant replacing another restaurant).  
    • Shared Space-Office: You are sharing office space only with a business that is the same or similar to yours (example: an accountant moving into an office currently occupied by another accountant).
    • Shared Space-Other: You are sharing space, other than standard office space, with another business (example: a retail store moving into a building/unit currently occupied by a beauty shop). 
    • Executive Suite: You will be occupying a space in an approved executive suite facility. View list of approved executive suite facilities.  
    • Charter Boat: You will be operating a charter boat service from a marina facility.  
    • Horse Boarding: (non-commercial) Stable
    • Plant Nursery: Non-retail plant nursery on agriculturally zoned property  

​Submittal Document Information:

  • Site Plan: Depicting property lines, building location and parking layout. Site plans may be hand drawn. Site plans are not required if you will occupy a unit in a shopping center consisting of five units or more.
  • Existing AND Proposed Floor Plans: Depicting building layout, entrances/exits, location of electrical outlets. Label on all rooms/areas within the building with the proposed use. Floor plans may be hand drawn, but must accurately depict the existing and proposed use of the building/unit. It is important that you depict any proposed changes on the proposed floor plan, including structural, plumbing, electrical and mechanical (AC) so that we can provide information on any additional permits required. This will ensure that your permit process is completed as quickly as possible.
  • Proof of Restroom Facilities: May be in the form of a port-a-let contract or a letter allowing use of facilities in a building located on the property. 

Inspection Information:

After application submittal and payment, our office will provide you with a list of required inspections/reviews and contact information to schedule them. Any of the following may be required:
  • Zoning/Code Enforcement​​​​​
  • Building Inspection
  • Fire Inspection
  • Garbage Verification
  • Septic and Well Verifications
  • Power Release 

Completing the Process:

After all approvals are received by our office, your Certificate of Use will be issued, allowing you to occupy the location and obtain your Local Business Tax Receipt from the Lee County Tax Collector. You MUST have both a Certificate of Use (or a Certificate of Occupancy if a building permit is required) and a Local Business Tax Receipt in order to open your business. 

Important Note Regarding Signs:

Additional permits are required for any signs erected or modified for your business.  See sign permit procedures for additional information.