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What is a Certificate of Occupancy?
A Certificate of Occupancy, or CO, is a document issued by the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services' Community Risk Reduction Division, also known as the Fire Marshal's Office. The CO indicates that plans have been submitted, reviewed, and approved; appropriate permits have been issued; fire inspections have been completed; and the building or tenant space and related area is free of fire code deficiencies.

The Certificate of Occupancy for businesses in unincorporated Gwinnett County (not within a city limits) will be issued jointly by the Fire Marshal's Office and Planning and Development. The Fire CO within city limits will be issued by the Fire Marshal's Office upon completion of the final fire inspection.

When is a Certificate of Occupancy required?
Owners, their agents, or designees of all buildings, tenant spaces, and commercial sites, are required to submit plans and specifications of the project to Gwinnett County Fire Plan Review prior to obtaining the required fire permits.

Obtaining a Certificate of Occupancy
Permits must be obtained prior to construction, demolition, change of use, or occupancy classification, tenant name change, or ownership change, in buildings, tenant spaces, or commercial sites and prior to addition, removal, or changes of any fire protection system(s).

A final inspection and Certificate of Occupancy, for each business establishment, must be obtained from the Gwinnett County Fire Marshal's Office prior to occupying or conducting business in any commercial building.

Where do you get a Certificate of Occupancy?
Go to Gwinnett County Planning and Development, located in the One Justice Square Building at 446 West Crogan Street in Lawrenceville. Sign in at Suite 150, Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00am and 4:00pm.  If your business is located within a city limit, you will only need to see a Fire Plan Reviewer. County projects will be routed appropriately. Gwinnett County Fire Plan Review can be contacted at 678.518.6000.

Note: Permits/CO's are not available at Fire Headquarters, located at 408 Hurricane Shoals Road in Lawrenceville.

How much will it cost?
The Fire Marshal's Office and Fire Plan Review, will collect fees as established in the Gwinnett County Land Development and Other Services Fee Schedule for construction permits, certificates of occupancy, and other fire related permits, plan reviews, revisions, variances, certificates, and re-inspections. Fees may be waived for projects that serve a governmental purpose in accordance with the county's Permit Fee Waiver Policy and the Gwinnett County Land Development and other Services Fee Schedule.

What information will you need to provide?
The minimum information needed will include the address, parcel, building number, suite number, city, and zip code of the business and basic tenant/owner information. The intended use of the space will need to be clearly described to the plan reviewer so the occupancy classification can be determined.  Floor plans are always beneficial and often plans are required.

When the project involves construction or renovation, construction documents must be submitted in two or more sets with each permit application. Construction documents shall be dimensioned, and drawn upon suitable material. Electronic media documents are permitted to be submitted. Construction documents shall be of sufficient clarity to indicate location, nature, and extent of the work proposed and show detail that the work conforms to the provisions of the fire code.

Most plans will require the seal of an appropriate registered design professional, architect, or engineer in accordance with the County Ordinance.

For tenant name changes and ownership changes with no construction or renovation and no change of occupancy, plans may not be required at the discretion of Fire Plan Review.

Additional information may be required for some occupancies including, but not limited to, Storage and Industrial Commodity Affidavits and High Piled Storage Rack Permit Forms.

How to schedule a Fire Inspection
Certificate of Occupancy inspections and others requiring permits can only be scheduled if the appropriate permit has been issued by Fire Plan Review.  Please note, the electrical power must be on at the time of the final Fire Inspection.

To schedule your appointment by phone, call 678.518.6277. This is the Interactive Voice Response Inspection Request System (IVR). The automated inspection request system is available 24/7.  You will need to know your permit number and the type of inspection needed. Enter "253" in place of "BLD".

Go to to schedule your appointment online. This is the County's website that gives citizens access to information related to permits and the ability to schedule inspections.

For a fire inspection related to a new Certificate of Occupancy, you will enter your permit number beginning with "BLD".

For compliance inspections of existing buildings, and others not requiring a permit, call 678.518.4980.

How do I contact Fire Plan Review?
For information regarding the permitting and plan review process, call 678.518.6000 or visit them online at Once on the website, select Departments, then Planning and Development, Plan Review, and finally, Fire Plan Review.

Who needs a Fire Certificate of Occupancy?
All commercial businesses within Gwinnett County, including those within a city limits in Gwinnett County, with the exception of the City of Loganville, must have a Gwinnett County Fire Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

Note: Loganville has it's own Fire Department and Fire Marshal's Office and issues it's own CO.

Additional Information