In Florida, a certificate of occupancy is a legal recognition issued by a local governing body that states a structure may be used and occupied. The certificate may also outline the uses and restrictions of the structure. It distinguishes whether the building can be used for commercial or residential purposes.
Certificates of occupancy are used throughout the United States, but requirements may vary by city or county. Typically, to obtain a certificate, a building must pass a series of inspections and tests based on building and fire codes. Plumbing and electrical systems must be completed, and handicap accessibility must be fully assured.