Choosing Upper Darby

This area of the site provides an overview of things to consider when Starting a Small Business in Upper Darby. Included are the Regulations & Procedures, as well as Zoning, Licenses and Permits that affect most small business, as well as additional resources that may be of use.

The Guide on Starting a Small Business is also Available in the Following Languages:

This project was financed by a grant for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development obtained through the Foundation of the Delaware County Chamber.


Zoning Approval

Getting Started

To operate a business in Upper Darby, you need to get Use and Occupancy certifications showing that you have recieved zoning approval (Use) and that your business meets building code regulations (Occupancy).

To obtain applications forms for Use and Occupancy certificatiosn from the Upper Darby L&I Department, call 610-734-7613. They will give you a New Business & Takeover applications packet that contains Use and Occupancy appplications and includes:

  • General informations about licenses, permits, and certificates need to get Use and Occupancy approval.
  • General tips about what the building code requires for your business property and what will be inspected (such as exits, maintenance, fire protection, plumbing, and electrical, heating, or air conditioning systems).

You can also get the New Business packet online on the Business Permits page under the Licenses and Inspections section of this site.

Obtaining Zoning Approval

When you apply for Use certification for your business, you identify where your buisness will be located and what goods or services you will be selling. You also describe physcial changes you are planning to make to the property and any signs you plan to add or change. This information is used for the zoning compliance review.

Other Appprovals and Regulations

Obtaining Building Code Approval - For All Business

When you apply for Occupancy certification, you provide a floor plan of your business as well as details about the interior layout, physical systems, fire protection systems, and signs. The L&I Department staff use this information to identify what building permits you will need to get and what inspections L&I staff will make.

Building Permits and Inspections

If you are making physical changes to the business property or chanign the way the building will be used, you will need to apply for building permits before you being work. Seperate permits are required for work on plumbing, construction of walls or additions, and electrical, heating, or air conditioning systems. You may need to have plans and drawings prepared by an architect or engineer. L&I staff will do inspections as work proceeds. For permit applications or questions, contact the L&I Department by calling 610-734-7613.

Final Approval

Before you open, L&I staff will inspect your new business to make sure that it is compliant with building codes. Your fire protection systems will also need to be certified. Even if you have not made any physical change, your new business will need to be inspected before you open.

All matters regarding Food & Food Service Establishment Licenses and Inspections are handled by the Delaware County Public Health Department Bureau of Environmental Health 


For all business

Zoning regulations specify what types of businesses can operate in a particular location, and set rules about signs and parking.

Building code regulations require that both the structure and the space within a business property are safe and accessible for customers and employees. Building codes specify how electrical, plumbing, heating and fire safety systems must be installed and maintained.

For businesses that sell, serve, and/or prepare food (such as groceries, coffee shops, delis, restaurants, caterers)

Food establishments are highly regulated in the United States to prevent sickness. Food establishment regulations specify how food storage, preparation areas, and equipment should be set up, and how systems like water supply and sanitation should be installed and maintained.

Business Privilege Tax Payments

Business Privilege Tax Return Form
Due to the change in the Federal Income Tax deadline, the deadline to submit the Business Privilege Taxes will be adjusted to July 15, 2020.


Upper Darby Township wants to help connect businesses with the resources they need during this challenging time.

State and Federal Support for Small Businesses