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22 July 20192 minute read

Puerto Rico changes its business permitting process

A Joint Regulation of the Puerto Rico Planning Board introduces significant changes to the business permitting process in Puerto Rico. Among the most notable changes is the implementation of a Single Permit (Permiso Único) which replaces the former Use Permit while consolidating a number of other required permits and certifications.

Effective June 7, 2019, each new or existing business in Puerto Rico shall obtain a Single Permit in order to commence or continue its business operations.

The Single Permit consolidates the Use Permit, the Categorical Exclusion, the Fire Prevention Certificate, and the Sanitary License into one permit. It may be applied for online through the Single Business Portal of the Office of Permitting Management (OGPe, for its Spanish acronym). A provisional Occupation Authorization may be requested if the new business is unable to comply with any condition or requirement for the approval of a license or certification.

Those businesses holding a Use Permit will be required to request a Single Permit when requesting an amendment or name change to the Use Permit or upon expiration of any of its licenses or certifications (that is, Categorical Exclusion, the Fire Prevention Certificate, or Sanitary License). The Single Permit must be renewed annually.

Large-scale businesses located in industrial buildings or institutional premises and businesses located within residential premises are not eligible for the Single Permit. However, startup companies that were established less than two years ago and that have fewer than three employees may obtain a Single Permit, even if they are occupying residential premises or shared office space within educational institutions or industrial buildings. Other exceptions also apply.

Learn more about the Permiso Único and other Puerto Rican business permits and licenses by contacting the authors.