It’s no secret that just starting a business is hard work. When you add in the element of construction or building, getting your business up and running can be even harder. Here in Arlington County we wanted to make sure you knew about a free service to hopefully make the process a little easier for you. What’s this service you ask? A code consultation with the Arlington County Inspection Services Division (ISD), our in-house experts on all things building code!
Here are some helpful tips when setting up your code consultation:
- As mentioned above, it's best to do a code consultation before signing your lease. This will ensure you have the right location for your type of business.
- Bring the building layout, your ideas of what you want to do in the space, and where you want to do it to the code consultation. Having these documents will allow the code consultation staff to give the best answers or recommendations.
- If you have hired a professional designer, architect, contractor, etc., bring them to the meeting so that everyone is on the same page.
- Meetings typically take an hour. The more prepared you are for the meeting, the faster things will move along.
- While the code consultation is a great service for buildings and system design, it doesn’t cover public health, public works/environmental services, or zoning. It's recommended that you also do your research in those areas prior to signing a lease.
Benefits to a code consultation vary from business to business. Generally Inspection Services Staff sees quicker turnaround on permits when a customer has done a code consultation on the front end of the process. Having to go through multiple rounds of reviews to get your permit can be frustrating, time consuming, and expensive – we recognize that time is money! You also risk not achieving or realizing the dream space for your business when it's all said and done. A code consultation has the goal of mitigating these concerns. Also, a code consultation isn't just for businesses – we offer this service free to residents, as well!
Just as all our existing and future businesses are unique to the character and community in Arlington, the building code is unique to the structure and type of business that will be in the space. While not often thought about, the building code works to keep us all safe and thriving. Let our staff help guide you through the process! To learn more about the code consultation and to schedule your appointment, click here, call (703) 228-3800, or email email@example.com.
A code consultation appointment isn’t the only free service the County offers to our business partners. BizLaunch offers a wide range of services, workshops, and events focused on small business. Don’t forget about the Arlington Public Library. They also offer resources for businesses including access to free databases to help you start or grow your company. You can make an appointment with a Business Librarian for more information.
I offer myself as a resource to the business community, as well. As the Acting Business Ombudsman, I am here to help you navigate your business needs, look for areas we can improve our processes, and assist with problem solving. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 228-0831. I look forward to working with you!