Ease of Doing Business in

United States

United States Download Profile (1994.2KB, pdf)
Region OECD high income
Income Category High income
Population 321,418,820
GNI Per Capita (US$) 54,960
City covered New York City, Los Angeles



DB 2017 Rank



DB 2017 DTF (% points)

  • local_library
  • group
Topics DB 2017 Rank DB 2016 Rank info_outline Change in Rank DB 2017 DTF (% points) info_outline DB 2016 DTF (% points) info_outline Change in DTF (% points) info_outline
Overall 8 7 down
82.45 82.46 down
Starting a Business 51 45 down
91.23 91.22 up
Dealing with Construction Permits 39 37 down
75.74 75.73 up
Getting Electricity 36 32 down
83.39 83.39
Registering Property 36 37 up
76.80 76.85 down
Getting Credit 2 2
95.00 95.00
Protecting Minority Investors 41 39 down
64.67 64.67
Paying Taxes 36 34 down
83.85 83.89 down
Trading across Borders 35 35
92.01 92.01
Enforcing Contracts 20 20
72.61 72.61
Resolving Insolvency 5 4 down
89.19 89.20 down

Viewing the data for

DB 2017 DTF (% points):


DB 2016 DTF (% points):


Change in DTF (% points):


Estimated value of warehouse USD 2,821,855
City New York City
Indicator New York City OECD high income
Procedures (number) info_outline 15 12.1
Time (days) info_outline 89 152.1
Cost (% of warehouse value) info_outline 0.3 1.6
Building quality control index (0-15) info_outline 8 11.3
  • Measure of efficiency
    No. Procedure Time to Complete Associated Costs

    Submit the new Zoning Diagram (ZD1), PW1, Schedule A, Form TR2 & TR3 and obtain approval

    Agency: New York City Department of Buildings (DOB)

    BuildCo must submit the Zoning Diagram (ZD1), PW1 and Schedule A. PW1 Plan/Work Approval Application must include information about the project such as a description, intended location, etc. However, separate PW1 applications must be filed for:

    1. General construction
    2. Sprinkler protection
    3. Fire alarm
    4. Standpipe System
    5. Boiler
    6. Plumbing
    7. Pavement
    8. Foundation and earth work
    9. Electrical
    10. Elevator/lift (to comply with law on disability)

    For Forms TR2 and TR3, the director of the licensed concrete laboratory must provide his/her name, sign and date the report, and place his/her seal in the space provided identifying responsibility of conducting the testing in accordance with Building Code 1905.6 and Building Code 1704.1.

    30 days USD 2,040

    Request and obtain plan approval from the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Agency: New York City Department of Buildings (DOB)

    The applicant must be either a Registered Architect (RA) or a Professional Engineer (PE) to submit the plans. The Department of Buildings (DOB) reviews construction plans to ensure that they comply with the Building Code and meet current safety standards and zoning requirements. Once plans are approved, a contractor or contractor’s representative may apply for a construction work permit.

    Simple projects, as in the case of BuildCo, can opt for a fast-track service offered by the New York City Department of Buildings (DOB), called the Professional Certification Program. The program, introduced in 1996, enables registered architects and professional engineers to certify, through an affidavit signed by the owner, contractor, and all responsible professionals (architects, engineers, plumbers, and the like) that the plans they file with the department are in compliance with all applicable laws. This reduces the amount of time a builder normally would wait for a DOB permit by eliminating the process of DOB examination and approval of the plans.

    The professional certification must be submitted at the time of pre-filing and in advance. A professionally certified application goes through the same pre-filing, payment, and data entry process as normal applications:
    • Information on the availability of a public sewer system
    • If a private sewage treatment plant is proposed, evidence of submission of plans for approval of such a plant to the department of environmental protection and the department of health as required by law
    • The lot diagram showing compliance with the zoning resolution
    • The foundation plans
    • The floor and roof plans showing compliance with exit requirements
    • The detailed architectural, structural, and mechanical drawings
    • General description of the proposed work

    After analyzing the plans (assuming that all required documents are present), the DOB approves the application at the end of data entry.

    A professionally certified application does not go through plan examination. The applicant can check the application status by using the Buildings Information System and, upon approval, can retrieve the application folder from the DOB to apply for a permit. Twenty percent of all professionally certified applications are selected for audit within 10 days of first permit issuance. The audits for new projects may take place within 30 days after the application is issued.

    The overall time of application clearance is 5 days on average.

    According to the 2008 Building Code No. 26-212, the fee for the new building permit is USD 0.26 per square foot. The plumbing permit and foundation fee are calculated inside the above flat rate.

    The Building Code says that "fifty percent of the total fee for the work permit, but not less than one hundred dollars, or the total fee for the work permit where such fee is less than one hundred dollars, shall be paid by or on behalf of the owner or lessee of the building premises or property affected, and shall accompany the first application for the approval of plans or other statement describing the building work when submitted prior to submission of the permit application; and the whole or remainder of the total fee shall be paid before the work permit may be issued.” Still, most companies of BuildCo’s size would opt to pay the amount upfront, not in two separate transactions. Only for large projects is dividing the amount widespread.

    Starting in 2011, the NYC Department of Buildings began accepting digital plans for new buildings. While our contributors have noted that the processing time isn't any faster in practice than submitting in person, it does allow the applicant more project control and improved accessibility to the plan examiner and inter-agency communications, as well as online tracking of application progress.

    21 days USD 3,640
    * 3

    Submit application and receive Sewer Availability Certification

    Agency: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    Sewer certification application must be submitted by a New York State licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA). Applicant submits 6 copies of the application form, signed and sealed by RA/PE, with signed cover letter, fees, attachments and completed checklist to DEP. DEP reviews the application to ensure it is accurate, complete and compliant with applicable DEP rules and regulations. DEP then issues Sewer Certification (valid for 2 years). Once the application is certified, the applicant is notified that it may be picked up from the DEP Borough Water and Sewer Office or it may be mailed upon request.

    21 days no charge

    Master Plumber applies for and receives Sewer Connection Permit

    Agency: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    The Licensed Master Plumber must apply for a Sewer Connection Permit prior to obtaining the work permit. DEP Bureau of Water and Sewer reviews the permit application for accuracy and completion. Licensed Master Plumber brings stamped DEP permit along with permit fees to to DEP Bureau of Customer Service local office. Once the permit is approved, the Master Plumber can connect to water and sewage at any point during or after construction.

    21 days USD 2,155

    Notarize signatures of contractor and site safety manager on work permit application form, PW2 form and cost affidavit form (PW3 form)

    Agency: Notary

    The site safety manager must be an employee of BuildCo and possess a valid site safety manager certificate. The cost affidavit must be filed to certify estimated and actual costs, in order to obtain a work permit.

    1 day USD 12

    Obtain work permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Agency: Department of Buildings (DOB)

    After obtaining the Building permit, the company must request a work permit. The request should be accompanied by a copy of the current insurance policy of workers’ compensation insurance. This procedure must be done by the contractor even if they are not the owner of the land. Different types of work require separate licenses. However, in one application, more than one permit can be requested. For instance, plumbing and construction work permits can be requested in the same application.

    For a warehouse, BuildCo must request a new building permit, a plumbing permit, and a foundation and earthwork permit. The request must include the detailed architectural, structural, and mechanical plans. One to two days prior to construction works, the company must notify the DOB by phone.

    1 day no charge

    Submit notice to Department of Buildings on commencement of foundation and earthwork

    Agency: New York City Department of Buildings (DOB)

    The foundation and earthwork permit shall be issued on the condition that the applicant provides a written notice to the Department of Buildings at least 24 hours, but no more than 48 hours prior to the commencement of the foundation or earthwork.

    1 day no charge
    * 8

    Notify all the owners of adjacent plots about the works

    Agency: Owners of adjacent plots

    Notification of adjacent owners, done 5 days prior to excavations for new building foundations, is necessary for obtaining the foundation and earthwork permit.

    1 day no charge

    Request and obtain work permit from the Department of Transportation

    Agency: Department of Transportation

    A Construction Activity Permit fee costs USD 50.00, and is valid for 90 days unless otherwise stated. Once the 90 days expire, the company buys another work permit for the remaining period of construction. Upon applying, the company gets an account number, and the next day obtains the work permit.

    Unless otherwise authorized, permits shall be kept at the work site or designated field headquarters at all times and shall be made available for inspection upon request of any police officer or any authorized employee of the Departments of Environmental Protection, Buildings, Police, and Transportation, or any other city employees specifically authorized by the Commissioner to enforce these rules.

    2 days USD 50
    * 10

    Receive on-site inspection by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and obtain approval

    Agency: Department of Transportation

    Approval from the Department of Transportation is granted after inspection.

    1 day USD 320

    Request occupancy certificate from the Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Agency: Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Upon completion of construction, the company must arrange for DOB inspections. For construction and plumbing, the company should contact the borough office where property is located.

    After completion of satisfactory inspections and submission of the required fillings (including inspections reports), DOB issues a new certificate of occupancy that describes the legal use and occupancy of a property.

    Each application must be accompanied by an accurate and complete lot survey made by a licensed surveyor. If the certificate of occupancy application is not signed by a professional engineer or registered architect, the form must be notarized by an official notary public.

    To obtain the certificate of occupancy, the company must obtain the work permit/approval from the Bureau of Electrical Control, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Transportation. If these approvals have not yet been granted at the time of applying for the certificate of occupancy, a temporary certificate can be issued. The company then has a year to obtain all the necessary approvals.

    If the building does not comply with all the plans and the New York City building code, the company must make the necessary changes. Then the Department of Buildings inspects the warehouse again. This process is repeated until the building complies with all the rules. It is common to have 2 -- 3 inspections of this sort. Once the building passes the inspection, the issuance of the certificate of occupancy is immediate.

    1 day no charge
    * 12

    Receive final inspection by the Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Agency: Department of Buildings (DOB)

    The inspection takes place after all inspections (electricity, water and sewerage, and transport) have taken place.

    1 day no charge

    Obtain occupancy certificate from the Department of Buildings (DOB)

    Agency: Department of Buildings (DOB)

    8 days USD 100
    * 14

    Receive final inspection by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and obtain approval

    Agency: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    Approval from the Department of Environmental Protection is granted after inspection.

    1 day no charge
    * 15

    Receive sewer connection inspection and obtain Certificate of Inspection

    Agency: Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

    The licensed master plumber will notify DEP when sewer connection is ready for inspection. The trench must be open for any un-inspected length and all work on pipes, joints etc must be visible. The connection inspection must be scheduled at least 24 hours in advance. DEP will issue Certificate of Inspection after all works are in compliance with the sewer certification. The original Certificate of Inspection is stored with the DEP Burough Water and Sewer Office and a copy is sent to the plumber and DOB.

    1 day no charge

    * Takes place simultaneously with previous procedure.

  • Measure of quality
    Answer Score
    Building quality control index (0-15) 8.0
    Quality of building regulations index (0-2) 2.0
    How accessible are building laws and regulations in your economy? (0-1) Available online; Free of charge. 1.0
    Which requirements for obtaining a building permit are clearly specified in the building regulations or on any accessible website, brochure or pamphlet? (0-1) List of required documents; Fees to be paid; Required preapprovals. 1.0
    Quality control before construction index (0-1) 1.0
    Which third-party entities are required by law to verify that the building plans are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-1) Licensed architect. 1.0
    Quality control during construction index (0-3) 0.0
    What types of inspections (if any) are required by law to be carried out during construction? (0-2) No inspections are legally required during construction. 0.0
    Do legally mandated inspections occur in practice during construction? (0-1) Mandatory inspections are not always done in practice during construction. 0.0
    Quality control after construction index (0-3) 3.0
    Is there a final inspection required by law to verify that the building was built in accordance with the approved plans and regulations? (0-2) Yes, final inspection is done by government agency. 2.0
    Do legally mandated final inspections occur in practice? (0-1) Final inspection always occurs in practice. 1.0
    Liability and insurance regimes index (0-2) 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are held liable by law for structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability or Decennial Liability)? (0-1)  No party is held liable under the law. 0.0
    Which parties (if any) are required by law to obtain an insurance policy to cover possible structural flaws or problems in the building once it is in use (Latent Defect Liability Insurance or Decennial Insurance)? (0-1) No party is required by law to obtain insurance . 0.0
    Professional certifications index (0-4) 2.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional responsible for verifying that the architectural plans or drawings are in compliance with existing building regulations? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; University degree in architecture or engineering; Being a registered architect or engineer; Passing a certification exam. 2.0
    What are the qualification requirements for the professional who supervises the construction on the ground? (0-2) Minimum number of years of experience; Being a registered architect or engineer. 0.0