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Small Business Development
The City of Portland Bureau of Development Services knows how important small business is to our local economy. We also know that small business owners face a lot of challenges-- including the complexities of the development review process.
The staff in the Development Services Center (DSC) is there to help you figure out everything you need to know about a property's legal use and what would be required to use it or remodel it for your business. But, realistically, we know that taking time away from your business to visit the DSC can be difficult.
We have collected some information that may be helpful to you as you start your research. If you don't see the information that you are looking for, call one of us at (503) 823-7542 and we will help point you in the right direction. Or, email us at BDSsmallbiz@portlandoregon.gov.
In many cases, moving to a new location will mean a “change of use”. Unless you find a space that has its most recent permit history as that exact same use, you can expect to go through the change of use process. It is very important to check on the legal, permitted use of any space that interests you. Too often, the way that a space has been most recently used does not reflect the actual legal use established by permit records. If the project you have in mind would mean a change of use, it's better to discover that sooner than later.
If you are in the early stages of hunting for a new location, follow the first link below and look for your project type. We have advice on most projects, whether it be converting a house to office use or moving a doggie day care into an existing commercial building.