Questions to Ask When Vetting Commercial Building Permit Expediting Services

Questions to Ask When Vetting Commercial Building Permit Expediting Services

Commercial building permitting regulations vary from state to state, county to county and even town to town. The process requires properly filling out forms, filing paperwork and coordinating inspections.

Mistakes or omissions can create delays that cost a project weeks, even months, to resubmit through the bureaucratic system.

A commercial building permit expediter who understands how to work within local and regional regulations can cut through that red tape and streamline the process.

Through this blog series, you have gained a basic understanding of the different types of commercial building permits and how to acquire approval.

The only questions remaining are:

  • Do you hire someone to handle your permit expediter services?
  • Which one?

As with any third-party partner, it comes down to experience, professionalism and trust. You are paying for a service. You expect results.

Here are some questions you can ask companies when conducting expediter services reviews.


Every company has their own ways of doing things. Their own processes and procedures.

You need to make sure that you are comfortable with how it will work.

Like any interview with a third-party vendor, you need to be confident that they have the experience and know-how to fulfill your expectations.

This is not a partnership. You are the client. Make sure you get what you are paying for.

Questions to Ask

  • What goes into the initial submittal process?
  • How do you submit plans and information to the appropriate agencies?
  • How do you communicate with clients once the submission process begins?
  • How long do you anticipate this part of the process taking?

Red Flags

  • Lack of general knowledge.
  • Vague or unspecific information.
  • Anything that is incumbent upon you to follow up on. The expeditor should initiate all communication and drive the process, delivering information directly to your inbox.


Once the initial filing completes, it is not unusual for government agencies to have questions.

Most of the time, these are small details that get added to the initial filing. Sometimes, however, bigger issues arise that can bog down the entire process.

How a permit expeditor navigates the review process is critical to staying on schedule.

Questions to Ask

  • What is your experience with commercial permitting services?
  • How do you manage the review process?
  • How many review checks do you anticipate?

Red Flags

  • Any lack of a structured review process to address concerns of all magnitude.
  • Overconfidence (i.e., “There’s never any problems when we file.”)


More than 90 percent of U.S. counties allow for filing electronically. With modern technology, that allows someone from New York to file in California with just a few keystrokes.

As a result, some expeditors say they work nationally when they really have little to no experience in most states.

Here’s where a quick e-visit to your local, county and state building departments’ websites will help. Arm yourself with a little knowledge then test them on it.

Questions to Ask

  • Do you have experience with the codes and regulations that will apply to my project?
  • What is your nearest office to my project?
  • What ADA requirements should I expect?
  • Does my project require a racking permit?
  • Can any of the permits be delayed?

Red Flags

  • Vague response on how to comply with local-, county- and state-specific regulations.
  • No local office inside your state.


As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. But you also need to find a price point within your budget.

Make sure to ask about costs during the initial discussion. There’s no reason to continue spending time with a company you cannot afford.

Questions to Ask

  • Do you charge hourly, per project or by action items?
  • If it is a combination of the three, what qualifies as an additional cost beyond hourly?
  • What is your rate for this project?
  • Do you bill weekly, monthly or when the project completes?

Red Flags

  • Vague answers that may leave doors open to hidden costs.
  • Fluctuating rates that are not determined until after the project begins.

With offices in 48 states and parts of Canada, Express Permits has the experience you are looking for in a commercial permit expeditor.

We have answers to all of the questions above and more. Email us at with any questions or fill out our contact form to ask your first question and get the ball rolling.

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