New Businesses

Thank you for your interest the City of Central Falls and for choosing to open your business here!

We are proud of our rich heritage in the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution and our diverse, hard-working local talent pool. We are located just north of Providence, RI, the state capital, less than an hour south of greater Boston and Worcester, MA, and just over three hours to NYC. We offer quick access to Route 95, the major interstate associated with the Northeast Corridor, and easy access to commercial and passenger rail, bus, air, and trucking centers and facilities.


Steps to Open a Business in Central Falls

Here are the steps you need to take to open a business in Central Falls. Do not hesitate to contact the Office of Planning and Economic Development for assistance at (401) 727-7480.


1)      Finding a Location

There are properties of all types and sizes available in Central Falls, and we welcome the opportunity to help you and your business find a suitable home. Just call us for assistance with land parcel or available site identification. In addition to working with a realtor, here are a number of site selection resources you may find helpful:

  • ArcGIS - this handy tool allows you to see the City map and zoning codes at a glance. Just enter an address to see exactly how a property is zoned.
  • LoopNet - Our LoopNet page lists all privately owned commercial properties in Central Falls that are for sale or for lease. 
  • Tolemi (Previously OpportunitySpace) - Tolemi is a centralized online information hub and marketplace for government-owned real estate in Central Falls, Pawtucket, Providence and Cumberland. Tolemi maps all City-owned parcels in Central Falls and will provide notice if any are for sale. It also lists tax sale properties that can be purchased at a tax sale auction. In special cases, the City will entertain applications for tax sale properties from developers or receivers.
  • Trulia- Our Trulia page lists all residential real estate properties in Central Falls that are for sale or for rent.


Other Resources

We have a number of unlisted available commercial properties new on the market for sale or lease.  Please contact the Office of Planning and Development for more information and share your needs.


2)      Confirming Zoning Compatibility

If you intend to establish a business that requires a commercial physical location, you need to first confirm if the proposed use of the property is in conformance with our Zoning Ordinance, and then obtain a Letter of Zoning Determination from our Office of Code Enforcement, paving the way for you to receive your Certificate of Occupancy (see below) for a commercial space. We have 10 different zoning codes which govern where certain types of businesses can be established and operate.


In addition to checking the ArcGis tool noted above, you can check our OpenCounter's Zoning Check. You can also call us anytime in the Planning Department.


3)      Business Licensing and Permitting


Petition for Business License

In addition to obtaining a Letter of Zoning Determination from our Office of Code Enforcement, you will need to file a Petition for License with the Clerk’s Office, and then obtain City Council Approval. The City Council meets the second Monday of each month, and review Petitions for License which they then approve or deny. Please note that certain business licenses, such as liquor licenses, may be limited or unavailable. Depending on the type of business you intend to establish or operate, you will also need to complete additional applications.


Obtain Certificate of Occupancy

Once the City Council approves the Petition for License, you must then obtain a Certificate of Occupancy to ensure that the location complies with the building code. Please contact our Department of Code Enforcement at 1280 High Street for more information- call 401-727-7480.


Getting the License

Submit the signed Certificate of Occupancy to the City Clerk at 580 Broad Street, 1st Floor, who will then issue the business license. The license should be on display on the premises of the business at all times. Business owners must renew the licenses yearly, in most cases by November 30th for the following year. For more information and renewal dates, visit the Office of the City Clerk.


Online Licensing and Registration

The City currently offers an online option for business licensing and registration utilizing the OpenCounter platform.

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