Memphis, Tennessee Building Permit Submittal Process and Tips

Anytime a construction project is in the developmental stages, it's imperative to have an understanding of the building permit process.  Express Permits has experience working with commercial construction clients and their building permit needs across the United States and throughout select parts of Canada.  Today, we want to discuss our experiences submitting to or working with the Memphis Tennessee Permit and Code Enforcement Department.  The following information has been helpful in submitting information to the Shelby County Building Department for our clients.  Please feel free to read and respond with any questions you may have.

How to successfully submit to the Memphis Tennessee Building & Code Enforcement Department.

1. Verify the location
All building permits for the City of Memphis and surrounding areas must go through Shelby County Permit and Code Enforcement office.  Permits are issued through the County, however some cities require plan review or a planning commission meeting.  Shelby County does not always require a permit, however the Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board may require a permit upon review.

2. Is a review required
As of this blog, at least 3 jurisdictions will require reviews separately from Shelby County Permit and Code Enforcement office.  They are:
- Downtown Memphis
- Millington
- Germantown
These 3 locations may have a separate set of codes and other review processes that would differ from the county.  Make sure to contact each location to ensure requirements are being satisfied for both the County and city.  If you miss a step, you may have to start back at the beginning of the process.

3. Steps for review
Should this be the case, a letter would be sent from the Planning Commission or Architectural Review Board after their review to Shelby County for the issuance of a permit.  In order to identify if this process is required for your project, contact the County Permit and Code Enforcement office for further instruction.  You should allow a minimium of 4-6 weeks for process to be completed.  However, review times may vary depending on the workload of each department.  Make sure to contact each review department for fees, estimated review times required fees.

These tips listed above we have found to be beneficial in getting a faster response and review times.  In our opinion, following these steps may help for successful permit submittals.  If you have any questions or would like assistance with the plan submittal process, please contact a representative at Express Permits for more details. Our sales office contact number is 877.898.9988 or you can email us at   If you were able to find a more successful way for plan submittal, please feel free share the suggested tips below.

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