Inspections & Permits

Various City departments provide permit and inspection services for Burlington. Permits are issued and inspections are conducted through the reasonable application of the North Carolina Building Codes and the Burlington Unified Development Ordinance.

Most permits and inspections are handled by the Inspections and Planning Departments, but some are issued through Fire Department, the Engineering Department, and our Special Events Division. 

If you have questions about permits issued and inspections underway in your neighborhood, please call 336-222-5080. 

Burlington Smart - Apply for Inspections & Permits

Apply for permits, schedule inspections, track approvals, and pay fees with Burlington Smart, our online inspections and permits portal. If you need help navigating Burlington Smart you can call 336-222-5080 or come to the Inspections office in the Municipal Building (425 South Lexington Avenue) and staff will walk you through the online process. 

Building and Construction Inspections 

Inspections are performed during various stages of a construction project. Our inspectors make sure that all work meets state code requirements for the building, electrical, mechanical, and plumbing trades. 

Inspections are scheduled, tracked, and paid for using our online system, Burlington Smart

For more information about inspections click here or call 336-222-5080.


Permits for projects like building a deck, shed, pool, or fence can be applied for and tracked with Burlington Smart. Permits for fences, sheds, and pools are handled by the City’s Planning Department (336-222-5110). Permits for new driveways are handled by our Engineering Department (336-222-5050).  


Historic District Certificates of Appropriateness 

Our locally-designated Historic Districts are designed to protect and enhance the existing character of the community. A Certificate of Appropriateness approved by the Historic Preservation Commission and issued by the Planning Department is required for exterior work and tree removal on properties within our Historic Districts. Click here for more information or call the Planning Department at 336-222-5110. 

Special Events Permits 

Our Special Events Division handles Special Events permits. All public events hosted on City property must fill out the Special Event Permit application and be approved through the Special Event Permitting process. Public events with crowds over 100 people that are hosted at the Historic Depot, Burlington City Park, or any of our lakes and facilities must also complete the application process. For more info on Special Events Permits click here or call 336-222-5030. 

Fire Inspections 

Under North Carolina law, the Burlington Fire Department is required to conduct periodic fire safety inspections for commercial properties, educational facilities, houses of worship, and other specifically-designated properties. This does not include single-family residential properties where there is no commercial activity. Fees for inspections are charged in tiers according to square footage of the occupancy. For more info on our fire inspections services click here

Business Licenses 

With a few exceptions, businesses do not need a license to operate in Burlington. Beer/wine licenses, Taxicab licenses, and Solicitor-Peddler Registration are required. For more information click here