New Business Checklist

Thank you for considering Shaker Heights as the location for your business. The City of Shaker Heights will work hard to insure that you have a positive experience from finding the right location to celebrating anniversaries in our community. To help you with the process of opening your business, we’ve assembled this New Business Checklist, which can serve as a resource guide to get you started.

Please email the Department of Economic Development or call at 216-491-1335 at any time with questions, concerns and suggestions.

  • Find the right location for your business. Consult the City’s available commercial properties list or review our Home-based Business Guidelines (PDF). The Economic Development Department can also assist you with finding the right location. The staff has an in depth knowledge of each district and can point you in the right direction.
  • Confirm the property’s zoning by calling the Planning Department at 216-491-1435. You may need a Conditional Use Permit or Variance.
  • Before you sign a lease, you will need to apply for a Business License (Commercial Occupancy Permit). Download the application or contact the Building Department at 216-491-3188. The Building Department will proactively work with you to insure compliance with the Ohio Building Code.
  • If your business includes any food sales, contact the Cuyahoga Board of Health to determine which permits and / or inspections are required.
  • Planning any interior or exterior renovations? You will likely need a permit. Contact the Building Department at 216-491-1462 before starting any construction or system upgrades to discuss your plans.
  • Signage – you need it! Contact the Planning Department for zoning and design guidelines. Also, be aware that signage must be presented to the Architectural Review Board before a permit is issued to install a sign.
  • Consider joining the Heights-Hillcrest Regional Chamber of Commerce to build your network and knowledge through quality events and workshops. To learn more about membership, click here or call 216-397-7322.