New Businesses

Thank you for your interest in the City of Central Falls and 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. Here are the steps you need to take to open a business in Central Falls. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Department of Planning and Economic Development main number at (401) 727-7480.


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. See Just enter an address to see exactly how a property is zoned.

·         LoopNet- LoopNet lists all privately owned commercial properties (and some multi-use) in Central Falls that are for sale or for lease. See You can easily create an account and e-mail alerts.

·         Trulia- Trulia page lists all residential real estate properties in Central Falls that are for sale or for rent. See You can easily create an account and e-mail alerts for properties in Central Falls.

· this website lists privately owned businesses that are for sale in Central Falls and surrounding areas (Providence County). See You can easily create an account and e-mail alerts for businesses for sale in Central Falls.

Other Resources

We have a number of unlisted available commercial properties new on the market for sale or lease. We will be posting various properties and opportunities on our website shortly. Please contact Planning and Economic Development at 401-616-2482 to obtain more information and share your needs. 

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. You can check zoning compatibility by checking the ArcGis tool- see You can also call us anytime in Planning and Economic Development at 401-616-2482.

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. Call us anytime in Planning or the Clerk’s Office (who issue the licenses) if you have any questions.

Obtain Certificate of Occupancy (and Building and Fire permits if new construction/repairs are planned)

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. If you are planning to establish your business in a site that will be renovated or redeveloped, then you must obtain the proper building and fire permits prior to construction and pursuit of a Certificate of Occupancy. Please contact our Department of Code Enforcement at 1280 High Street for more information. We have recently joined the statewide building and fire e-permitting initiative and all permits are now administered online using the Viewpoint e-permitting platform- see to start the process. 

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 on licenses, visit the Office of the City Clerk or see Note: not all licenses are currently available on the website. 

Online Licensing and Registration

We currently offer an online option for business licensing and registration utilizing the OpenCounter platform. See our portal:

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