Commercial Building Document Submittal Requirements in Los Angeles, California

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Preparing and submitting the right documents is critical to getting a commercial building project off the ground. This process ensures that all proposed construction meets local codes, standards, and regulations, safeguarding the safety, functionality, and sustainability of new structures. 

For businesses and developers building in Los Angeles, California, knowing early what documents are required by the Los Angeles Department of Building & Safety for building permits can help streamline the application process and avoid delays.

Understanding Document Submittal Requirements

It’s important to note upfront that the documents required for your Los Angeles commercial building projects will largely depend on the type of project. Some projects will only require the minimum documentation detailed below, while others will be more involved. 

Minimum Document Submittal List

Architectural Plans: Detailed drawings showcasing the building’s design, dimensions, and construction materials. This includes: 

  • Plot plan
  • Floor plan
  • Roof plan
  • Exterior elevations and cross-sections
  • Disabled access features
  • Green Code features

Structural Plans: Engineering plans of a building that include connections, beams, columns, slabs, and structural calculation. Specifically:

  • Foundation plan
  • Floor framing plan
  • Roof framing plan
  • Truss information
  • Structural framing and connection details

Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing (MEP) Plans: Detailed schematics of the building’s systems, ensuring they meet safety and efficiency standards.

  • Plumbing plans.
  • Mechanical plans
  • Electrical plans 

In some cases, separate permits for plumbing, mechanical and electrical may be required. 

Grading plans (when grading is proposed): Outline how your project will redirect surface water runoff from structures, ensuring proper drainage away from the building’s foundation. 

Landscaping plans: The layout of the property’s aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability, which often includes outdoor spaces, architecture, traffic flow, exterior lighting and plant selections. 


In addition to the above documents, you’ll need to submit the following to LADBS:

  • Structural calculations: A complete set of structural calculations (for vertical and lateral loads) signed by a licensed engineer or architect in the State of California.
  • Energy calculations and the corresponding forms.

Other Documents

  • Soil reports and geologic hazard studies (if in a geologic hazard zone)
  • Hazardous material inventory list (list types and quantities of chemicals stored on site)
  • Material specifications

The above is a high-level overview of what is needed at minimum for a commercial building permit review. If you need specifics about what should to be included in each set of plans, the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety has a more detailed list you can find here

It’s also worth noting, the best way to know for sure what will be required for your specific project is to invest in a due diligence research project. A permit expediting team like Permit Place’s can uncover, upfront what you’ll need for your permit application, along with timeline, fee and zoning information. 

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