Mayor Brian Arrigo is committed to making it easier and more convenient to open a business in the City of Revere. In the coming months, Revere will be rolling out electronic permitting software, which will make the licensing and permitting process even more seamless.

Below is some information that will be helpful to those looking to open a business in the City.

If you have any questions or need any guidance during the process of opening a business, please contact John Festa, Small Business Coordinator, at 781-286-8181.

Opening a Business FAQ

How do I open up a business in the City of Revere?

The first step in opening a business in the City of Revere is determine the type of business that one is seeking to establish and then file the necessary documentation to appropriate departments. Depending on the nature of the business, the process is quite simple and can be accomplished in a very short period of time.

What departmental signatures are needed to get final approval?

Usually, a potential business owner would have to apply to one or several of the following departments: Building Department, City Clerk’s Office, License Commission and the Fire Department. Each department has its own criteria that would apply to the application process. The Building Department (i.e., through the Site Plan Review Process) would evaluate and enforce all zoning and code issues. The Building Department would look to determine if the potential business meets the City of Revere’s zoning requirements. The Building Inspector, Plumbing Inspector and Electrical Inspector would then evaluate the potential location of a business to make sure that all standards meet code requirements.

What paper work needs to be submitted for final approval?

The first step is to determine whether a formal business certificate is needed for the potential business. The application is available from the City Clerk’s Department and is a one page document requesting ownership information and the nature of the business. If a new business is incorporated or a Limited Liability Company (i.e., LLC) then a business certificate is not required.

Second, depending the type of business being requested, a filing may be needed before the License Commission. For an example, if the proposed business is a: restaurant, diner, sandwich shop, delis, fast food places, coffee shops – basically, anyone who is serving food or drink to people - it would need to file for a Common Victualler License. Other potential licenses that would need to apply to the License Commission are: Liquor Licenses, Entertainment Licenses and Class 1,2, or 3 Motor Vehicle Dealer Licenses.

Third, a Certificate of Occupancy Application must be submitted through the Building Department. This application is reviewed by the Site Plan Review Committee for any zoning and code violations. Depending on the location of the business, the Building Department will review if any alterations would occur and if so, if the alterations meet all existing regulations.

Lastly, the Revere Fire Department requires a design plan to review for the proposed business. They review the business and location from a fire protection standpoint (i.e., fire alarms, sprinklers…etc.). This is a standard procedure throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

What permits are needed to open a business?

To open a business in the City of Revere, there are two permits that would be needed: A Certificate of Occupancy Permit from the Building Department and possibly a permit from the License Commission (see question "Who needs to get a license from the License Commission?" below).

Is there an inspection process?

Yes, all inspections are done through the Building Department before appropriate approvals are given.

Do I need to submit an application to the Site Plan Review Committee?

Yes, all new businesses must submit an application to the Site Plan Review Committee, which is then reviewed by all of the members. The Site Plan Review Committee meets every Tuesday morning at the Building Department. This is a one-step process with all department heads.

What person or persons give final approval?

In order to open a business and receive final approval, the following individuals need to sign-off: Building Inspector, Electrical Inspector, Plumbing Inspector, Fire Department and possibly the License Commission.

How long does the process take?

The process usually takes between one to three weeks depending on the nature of the business.

Does the City of Revere have any affiliations with local financial institutions?

The City of Revere has an affiliation with the Revere Municipal Employees Federal Credit Union.

Does the City of Revere offer any incentive programs?

The City of Revere offers a comprehensive incentive program for Storefronts and Signage. This program is administered through the office of Strategic Planning and Economic Development. Contact John Festa at 781-286-8181 with any questions about this program. 

Who needs to get a license from the License Commission?

  • Common Victualler License

    Restaurants, diners, sandwich shops, ice cream stands, delis, fast food places, coffee shops, etc.–Basically, anyone who’s serving food or drink to people. If the food or drink gets prepared onsite, brewed on site, warmed up or in any way cooked on site (including microwave ovens), it needs a common victualler license.

  • Liquor License

    Anyone selling liquor in any retail capacity needs the appropriate liquor license.

  • Entertainment License

    Any business that has a radio or TV playing for its customers; any business that puts on performances (dancing, music, plays, movies, etc.), or has dancing by patrons,karaoke, jukebox(or its equivalent); gas stations with TVs on the pumps–all these people need an entertainment license.

  • Special 1-day License

    Anyone planning a 1-day event open to the public with liquor, food, or entertainment needs to apply for a special 1-day license for liquor, common victualler, and/or entertainment.

  • Class 1, 2, or 3 Motor Vehicle Dealer License

    Motor vehicle sales of any kind: new, used, junk, or over the internet need a Class 1, 2, or 3 motor vehicle dealer license.

  • Automatic Amusement Device License

    Any business that has an automatic amusement device: electronic arcade games, pinball machines, video poker machines, slot-style machines, etc. NOTE: it is illegal to use any of these machines for gambling!

  • Hotels, motels, and inns
  • Lodging or rooming houses
  • Anyone operating a commercial open-air parking lot
  • Pawnbrokers
  • Anyone buying or selling secondhand goods
  • Anyone selling jewelry, gold, silver, and/or precious metals
  • Fortunetellers
  • Anyone running a flea market
  • Carnivals
  • Any business that has a pool table
  • Bowling alleys

Download the Application for a Certificate of Occupancy