ProvSmart Online Permitting and Plan Review

One of the most important issues entrepreneurs face is how to deal with the scores of state and local regulations and permits needed to start and run a business. In Providence, we understand.

According to a recent report by the Rhode Island Office of Management and Budget/ Office of Regulatory Reform (ORR), which is conducting a comprehensive review of all state regulations relating to small business, there are more than 1,600 state regulations. As part of their charge by the Governor, they’ve taken a look at 1,089 of them, and in their most recent review, they found 399 of them impacted small business, chiefly in “audit, inspection and enforcement activities.” They expect this number to grow as they review the final group of regulations and implement a new and more comprehensive small business impact model.

By getting an accurate ‘lay of the land’ and working with cities such as Providence, the state will be able to build a more reasonable system of regulations and laws that is consistent, transparent, and supportive of small business.

In Providence, we have been taking measures to help small business grow. As part of my Economic Development Plan, “Putting Providence Back to Work,” we have taken the lead with online permitting (

Late last month, we launched an online permitting system that lets contractors and developers, homeowners and business owners  alike, apply through their computers – or at a stationery kiosk in the Department of Inspections and Standards – for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and construction permits. Now, you can submit your permit application and plans, and then pay and print your Permit Card online.

How it works
When you visit, you will need to create an account if this is the first time you are using the system. This account will give you an online dashboard where you can track and keep a record of all your permits. Click the link Register Now or use one of the social media links to create an account.

Once you have an account, just select the type of permit you require and fill out the application, leaving any fields blank that do not apply or that you don’t know the answer to. Click Save to submit your application or Save Draft to finish and submit at a later time.

Your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email approving it or requesting more information. When you get this email, you can upload drawings for review. At any time in the online process, you can also come into the department at 444 Westminster Street for more help or to deliver paper drawings if you wish, or pay with a check.

In business, time is money. This new state-of-the-art process built with the newest software allows you to track progress on one or multiple projects, and lets you get on with the business of doing business much quicker.

In the next month, we will be hosting a special event for all local business owners, contractors and developers, and brokers to learn first-hand how this new process works. We hope you’ll join us then. For details follow us on

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