Starting a New Business in Chester

Many entrepreneurs start out by opening a small business in the suburbs, such as Chester, Pa. whether you are a newcomer to the area, or locally born and raised, there is a lot you’ll need to know before opening your business. The Chester Economic Development Authority works with communities and immigrants to promote economic development, and can be a resource in helping you start your business.

Download our Startup Guide

Understanding the Regulations

All business are required to follow regulations, which are government rules. These regulations may differ depending on the type of business that you intend to open. It is important that business owners understand and comply with regulations to protect their customers and their business investments.

For all businesses, Zoning regulations specify what types of businesses can operate in a particular location, and set rules about signs and parking.

Building Code regulations require that both the structure and the space within a business property are safe and accessible for customers and employees. Building codes specify how electrical, plumbing, heating, and fire safety systems must be installed and maintained.

For businesses that sell, serve, and/or prepare food (such as groceries, coffee shops, delis, restaurants, caterers)
 are highly regulated in the United states to prevent sickness.
 Food Establishment Regulations specify how food storage, preparation areas, and equipment should be set up, and how systems like water supply and sanitation should be installed and maintained.

It's important to check with the following local agencies to better understand the local regulations that will apply to your business:

Chester City Building Permits/Licenses & Inspections Phone: 610-447-7751 (Your primary contact for opening a small business in Chester)

Chester City Finance Department Phone: 610-477-7981

Chester City Public Health Department Phone: 610-477-7888  (If your business will sell, serve, and/or prepare food, contact the Health Department before investing in your business)

Chester City Website: Visit the forms and permits page of the city website to download documentation and applications for local licenses and permits you may need for your business.

We highly recommeend that you meet in person with Chester township staff before you invest money in your business or finalize your plans. Building Permits/ License staff will be happy to help you understand the zoning regulations and identify the certificates, permits, and licenses you will need to open your business.