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What are the formalities to change the front of a business?

Verified 05 February 2019 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister), Ministry of city planning

The construction, renovation or repair of the front of a shop, without changing the destination of the commercial premises or adding surface, is subject to a prior declaration of works. However, in some cases, a building permit may be required.

Prior notification is only required if the work involves a change in the exterior appearance of the building: modification or replacement of the window, change of carpentry or other materials, drilling of a new opening, new paint color for the façade in particular.

The use of an architect is not mandatory.

Conversely, work to restore the building to its original condition (renovation or cleaning of the facade) does not require prior notification, unless the business is located in a protected area such as the approaches of a historic monument (less than 500 m) or if an authorization has been decided by a decision of the municipal council.

The prior declaration file for a commercial storefront modification must be filed with the municipality of the municipality where the commercial establishment is located.

Prior notification (construction, works, installations and facilities not subject to a building permit)

Documents to be attached to the file:

  • situation plan (exhibit DP1) allowing the precise location of the parcel concerned;
  • ground plane (DP2);
  • Project description (DP5) by photomontage, perspective sketch or plan;
  • plan in section at the front, before and after work (DP3);
  • façade plan (DP4), front side view (initial state and future state);
  • color photos of the current state of the storefront (DP7) and building ( DP8);

The period for examining the application shall be limited to 1 month from the receipt of the complete file.

After prior declaration of work, and before commencing construction or fitting-out of a receiving institution (ERP), the owner (or his representative) must seek authorization from the mayor.

Application for permission to construct, develop or modify a facility receiving the public (ERP)

Who shall I contact

An application for a building permit must be submitted, in place of the prior declaration of works:

  • whether the building is protected by a Safeguard and Development Plan (PSMV);
  • whether it is classified or inscribed as a historic monument;
  • in the event of a change of destination of the premises;
  • in case of addition of more than 20 m².

The issuance of the building permit by the Mayor is in lieu of a work permit for a facility receiving the public (ERP).

See Building permits

The prior declaration or building permit shall not exempt other compulsory authorizations if the alteration work involves:


prior to undertaking work that modifies the external appearance (front and façade) or the common parts of a building subject to the condominium regime, it is necessary to obtain prior authorization by a majority vote of the general meeting of the condominiums.