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Many cities are adopting an online portal for their plan-check process, leaving some professionals to wonder, “Do I still need to hire a permit expediter?” While receiving the answer to this question from a company named Suncoast Permits may seem biased, we promise to give you a straight answer. We’ll walk you through the why and when of leaving the permit process to an expert.


Barring some exceptions, smaller jurisdictions are often relatively quick with the permitting process, even without new technology. They don’t usually have as many internal departments, therefore, there’s less waiting and/or complication involved. Additionally smaller jurisdictions often have fewer projects in their pipeline allowing them to get through reviews quicker than a larger jurisdiction. For these reasons, you may not need to hire a Permit Expediter for a project located in a small jurisdiction.

With that being said, some businesses will still decide to hire a Permit Expediter for a project in a small jurisdiction. While there is a multitude of reasons why it’s typically because they need their building permits quickly so they need to do it right the first time. Additionally, they want to know that the paperwork, filing, and follow-ups are all being handled by one point of contact. Finally, they can rest easier knowing that they have an expert available to navigate any tricky challenges that may arise unexpectedly.


In our experience, we’ve noticed that larger jurisdictions offer more online options for navigating the permit process. Let’s take the city of Tampa Bay Florida for example; there is an online permit website with access to tracking the review process and estimate fees using an online calculator. In addition to Tampa, many large cities are moving toward a web-based permit process. If it’s all available online then why is the process still tricky? Why do I even need to hire a permit expediter?

Unfortunately, jurisdictions often have information posted online that is no longer valid and/or isn’t updated regularly. You may see a requirement about a set of codes that is no longer relevant (our national team sees this all the time). Online information must be verified by a phone call or a face-to-face visit whenever possible. Speaking of physical interactions, it is important to have a face and name associated with a project to maintain accountability with a reviewing jurisdiction. If you handle everything online, you lack that ability. Finally, larger jurisdictions typically have several dedicated departments for each specific trade. That means more steps, more people involved in the process, and more avenues to work through making it easier for the project to get lost in the department paperwork shuffle.

Because of this, we recommend you hire a Permit Expediter for a project in a large jurisdiction – especially if it’s a project with a large scope of work. Permit Expediters will take the time to verify that what they see online is still valid. They’ll take it one step further by working to negotiate a quicker route whenever possible. Finally, they’ll often know what nuances or issues may arise through the process in advance, so they can guide you through the process quickly and efficiently.


When deciding to hire a Permit Expediter for an upcoming project, ask yourself the following questions. Is the project located in a large jurisdiction? Am I going to be too busy to follow up regularly throughout the review process? Is the project going to be large in scope? Will I have time to verify that what I see online is correct? If you answer yes to the previous questions, we recommend that you leave the permitting process in the hands of a qualified expert.


Suncoast Permits is a Florida-based permit expediting, entitlement, and consulting firm in Tampa Bay. We have established relationships with municipalities nation-wide and implement time as well as cost-saving strategies to efficiently complete projects. We provide a project management team to ensure every aspect of the project is given specific attention while maintaining open communication between the jurisdiction, consultants, and our clients. We serve retailers, architects, landlords, tenant coordinators, contractors, and franchisees nationwide in the hotel, retail, restaurant, mixed-use, multifamily, entertainment, grocery, and logistical plant development industries. Contact us today for a consultation at