Thank you for your interest in opening a business in the City of Dearborn!
Before beginning, we recommend that you take time to learn about Dearborn's different business districts, and review our helpful list of "Things to Consider" before embarking on the process of opening your business.
From downtowns to shopping complexes, learning about Dearborn's various business districts can help to determine where your prospective business would best fit.
Review guidelines and tips for opening a business in Dearborn, including zoning, location, traffic flow and your target market.
Ready to open your business?
The Economic & Community Development Department has designed simple and effective guidelines that will walk you through the process of obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy and opening your business.
Because every business is different, the process varies, and several steps may need to take place before you are able to occupy your space and open for business. The questions below will help guide you through the process.
Are you planning to construct a new building?
If yes, you must submit a Commercial Plan for review. Contact Zoning Administrator Thomas Paison to discuss your plans before you begin.
Are you purchasing a building?
If yes, you will need to obtain a temporary Certificate of Occupancy for closing. The current and new owners of the property should fill out and submit a Commercial Property Ownership Change form.
Once the sale has been completed, the new owner will need to obtain a final Certificate of Occupancy before occupying or leasing the space. This process differs depending on the plans for the property.
Are you renting or occupying a current space (owner or tenant) and changing the use of the property (e.g., from a retail shop to a restaurant)?
If yes, you must submit your plan for review.
If you are not changing the use of the property, proceed to applying for reoccupancy of the building.
Additional steps may be required before you are ready to open your business, including:
- Obtaining applicable licenses
- Applying for a zoning variance
- Special land use and site plan requests
- Applying for permits
- Signage approvals
Please contact the Economic and Community Development Department with any questions as you go through this process.
Economic & Community Development
Commercial Services Department
16901 Michigan Ave., Suite 6
Dearborn, MI 48126