Borough of Ambridge Quick Start Guide

Borough of Ambridge

Your Quick Guide for Starting a New Business

Depending on the type of business you intend to open, there are permits and licenses that you need to secure prior to opening. Please review the various stages of the permitting process below as it will walk you through what is actually needed for you to open for business.

Please click here to download a PDF version of this page.

All businesses require a Commercial Occupancy Permit

  • Permit Fee - $200 (For Local Entrepreneurs whose goal is to open or re-open a store front in an existing structure that requires minimal improvements in order to achieve compliance with state requirements.)
    • Above 1,500 SF, or if this is new construction, or if the structure needs significant improvements, $0.40 to $0.25 per square foot permit fee.

  • Follow the Commercial Occupancy Permit instructions carefully; you may have to consult a registered architect to prepare drawings of your commercial space. Once ready to submit, return the completed application packet along with the required drawings to the Borough Office.

  • Your permit application and plans will first be reviewed in house by the Code Enforcement Officer for confirmation to Zoning, Flood Plain Management and Historical District criteria. After that, the plans will be provided to the Borough’s Building Code Official, NIRA Engineers for plan review relative to the State’s Uniform Construction Code. NIRA will provide the applicant with a detailed plan review letter and note any additional code requirements that your project may require. If your drawings meet code, a notice to proceed will be granted to you so that you can make the necessary improvements.
    • Should your work require construction, a separate building permit may be necessary.

  • Once all improvements are completed, an Occupancy Inspection is necessary; inspection fee is a minimum $85/hour (1 hour minimum payable directly to NIRA Engineers).

  • Business Tax – be sure to register your business with the Borough’s Act 511 Tax Collector, Berkheimer by calling 1-800-360-8989.


Are you adding Signage? If so, a separate Sign Permit Application is needed

  • Permit Fee - $29 + ($53 for a sign cost that is between $0 to $5,000 or $78.75 if the sign value is over $5,000)
    • Submit a completed application along with payment to the Borough Office, do not install or erect your signs until you have received permit approval from the Code Enforcement Officer.


Are you opening a Restaurant, Tavern, Eating or Drinking Establishment or facility that serves food / meals? If so, a Health License is needed.

  • Permit Fee - $300 (New Registration Fee) Pay at the time submitting a completed application. Once your application is received and you have completed all of the necessary improvements as part of your Commercial Occupancy process, please schedule for the Borough’s Health Officer to inspect your establishment. Appointments can be made by calling the Borough Office at 724-266-4070. You cannot open your food related establishment without securing a passing health inspection and issuance of your health license.

  • If a State Liquor License is needed contact the PA Liquor Control Board at 412-723-0100.


Is your new business located within the Ambridge Historical District? The Old Economy Historic District / Ambridge Historic District is located between 12th Street and 16th Street, from Route 65 to one block east of Merchant Street. If so, your application for Occupancy, Zoning and Construction Permits will require approval from the Borough’s Historical Architectural Review Board (HARB).

  • Fee - $0

  • The HARB will ensure that your business use confirms to the Borough’s Zoning Ordinance and Historical Preservation Plans.


Should you have any questions during the process of making application, please contact Joe Kauer, Ambridge Borough Manager at 724-266-4070 or

Borough of Ambridge Resources

Borough of Ambridge Website

Ambridge Ambassador Program

Quick Start Guide for Starting a New Business

Printable Borough Forms

Ambridge Business Directory

Harmony Ambridge Industrial Corridor Resource Guide - PDF

Ambridge Regional Chamber of Commerce

Old Economy Village

Ambridge on

Old Economy Village

ERSI Demographic Report 2015 (PDF)

City Data Demographics

Commercial Properties for Sale

Businesses Recently Choosing Ambridge

Success Stories

Ambridge Realtor Pack

Available Properties

Social Media Links:

Borough of Ambridge Facebook

Ambridge Regional Chamber of Commerce Facebook

Ambridge Historic District Facebook

Old Economy Village Facebook


General Resources

Find a Property For Your Business

Facade Improvement Program

Facade Program Examples

Beaver County Website

City Data Demographics for Beaver County

Beaver County Chamber of Commerce

Starting a business in Pennsylvania
Funding and other aspects to help in moving or starting your business in PA

Beaver County Economic Development Authority (BCEDA)

Beaver County Partnership for Community and Economic Development

Economic Impact Study: Beaver County Petrochemical Facility

Team Pennsylvania: Report on Enhancing Petrochemicals, Plastics Manufacturing in Pennsylvania

SBDC represents America’s nationwide network of Small Business Development Centers

SCORE Pittsburgh

Beaver County Farmers' Markets

Beaver County Tourism Youtube Link