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Business in Pawtucket - English

Mayor Donald R. Grebien

Welcome to Pawtucket

We are pleased you have chosen to consider the City of Pawtucket for your new business location. We will make every effort to assure that whatever assistance you may need from the City to make sound business decisions will be provided in a timely and professional manner. We sincerely hope your business will be a productive and profitable enterprise for you because your success is the City’s success. This pamphlet will help to guide you through key aspects of the City’s regulatory process and is intended to make it easier for you to get underway as promptly and efficiently as possible. You will also find us readily available to answer any further questions you may have throughout the process.

Location, Location, Location

If you are interested in opening a business in the City of Pawtucket but need assistance in finding a location, contact: 

Department of Planning & Redevelopment

Contact:  Herb Weiss, Economic & Cultural Affairs Officer, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860; (401) 728-0500, Ext. 437; hweiss@pawtucketri.com.  

Functions:  This department will assist you in locating property for either lease or sale that will meet your specific business needs. This department can also provide you with specific details as to its economic development assistance program.

Getting Through the Permitting Process

Once you have determined where in the City you would like to locate your business, contact:

Division of Zoning and Code Enforcement

Contact: Susan Mara, Assistant Director of Planning & Redevelopment, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860; (401) 728-0500, Ext. 429; smara@pawtucketri.com

Functions:  First, obtain and fill out a Certificate of Zoning Compliance (“Certificate”) application at the Division of Zoning and Code Enforcement, or the application can be downloaded at http://www.pawtucketri.com/zoning-director.  There is a $50 application fee, and it takes approximately seven (7) business days to process the application.

Once approved, the Certificate will ensure that your proposed use is consistent with local zoning laws before you sign a lease or purchase and sales agreement. They can also advise you whether or not your type of business is allowed within a

specific location and inform you of any possible building codes which may need to be addressed.


To obtain construction permits you must submit your project plans (three sets) to the Building Official, who will distribute the plans to various regulatory officials (Electrical Inspector, Plumbing/Mechanical Inspector, Fire Department and Planning Department staff). The Building Official will also oversee the construction inspections of all City regulatory officials, provide the final sign-off of the project and issue a Certificate of Occupancy. Whatever the size of your project, Pawtucket offers special meeting opportunities to help you travel smoothly through the City’s regulatory process. Pawtucket offers a special meeting on Wednesday afternoons, by appointment, when you may meet with all relevant city officials at one time to discuss your project’s specific needs. If needed, Fire, Police, Zoning and Code Enforcement and Planning officials can be represented at this meeting. Appointments may be scheduled by calling Herb Weiss in the Department of Planning & Redevelopment at (401) 728-0500, Ext. 437.

Office of the Tax Assessor

Contact:  Robert Burns, Tax Assessor, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860; (401) 728-0500, Ext. 333; rburns@pawtucketri.com.   

Functions:  All businesses are required by Rhode Island State Law §44-5-15 to file an annual return for declaration of tangible property. Tangible property is defined as all furniture, fixtures, equipment and inventory which is used by any person or persons, corporation, partnership or other business organization in the course of conducting or transacting business.

The Tax Assessor’s Office is available to answer any questions regarding taxation and how and when to complete this annual return.

City Clerk’s Office

Contact: Michelle R. Hardy, Deputy City Clerk, 137 Roosevelt Avenue, Pawtucket, RI 02860; (401) 728-0500, Ext. 225; mhardy@pawtucketri.com.

Functions: The City Clerk’s Office can guide you if your particular business requires any City or State licensing (such as for the Department of Health) as well as walk you through the licensing process.

Trade Certificates (D/B/A) are required if you choose to operate as a sole proprietor. Applications are available in this office, and the applicant must also present photo identification for the notarization of the Trade Certificate. The fee is $10 and can be filed between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Corporations must file corporation papers, or a Fictitious Name Statement if doing business under a different name, at the Office of the Secretary of State, Corporate Division, 148 West River Street, Providence, RI 02904. For more information call (401) 222-3040. 

For additional questions, please feel free to call Dylan Zelazo, Chief of Staff, in the Mayor’s Office at (401) 728-0500, Ext. 268; (860)729-0712 (cell phone); dzelazo@pawtucketri.com.  

Pawtucket Public Library Awarded Grant

  • December 6, 2017
  • Press Release

The Pawtucket Public Library was recently awarded a $60,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation for the restoration and repair of the Dome Tower in the Gerald S. Burns Building. The grant will go...  Read More >

City Speak
"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

- Mayor Donald R. Grebien

New Event

Free Monthly Mattress, Box Spring & E-Waste Drop Off for Residents- December 2nd

  • November 26, 2017
  • Event

Mayor Donald R. Grebien announced that the City of Pawtucket, in partnership with its trash and recycling vendor, MTG Disposal, will provide an added service to Pawtucket residents seeking to get rid...  Read More >