Final Prep- Getting Ready for Opening Day
Final Inspection and Approvals
Final Building Inspection
Before having your final inspection and getting a Certificate of Occupancy, you must meet the following requirements:
- All alarms, sprinkler systems, pressurization and other safety systems must be approved by the Spokane Valley Fire Department.
- All work authorized by trade permits, such as electrical, plumbing, elevator, mechanical, boiler, and public right-of-way- must be inspected and finalized. This includes utilities like sewer and water supply provisions and backflow prevention.
- All required signage must be installed (exit, maximum occupancy, maximum storage load, address, etc.)
- Call (509-688-0054) for a final inspection.
- Get a Certificate of Occupancy from the City of Spokane Valley after all final building, trade, and fire permit approvals are complete and in hand. If everything is in order and in compliance with approved plans, you will receive your Certificate of Occupancy.
Spokane Regional Health District Annual Food Establishment Permit
Time and Cost → Annual Food Establishment Permit fees range from $120-$800 (2016 fees), depending on the menu and the type of operation, see the 2016 fee schedule for more specific fees. The permit expiration is 12 months from the end of the month in which the permit is issued.
Spokane Regional Health District Pre-Operational Inspection
- When construction is complete, schedule a pre-opening inspection to verify the restaurant is in compliance with approved plans. The annual Food Establishment Permit fee must be paid prior to scheduling the pre-opening inspection. To schedule your pre-opening inspection, contact the Health District at (509) 324-1560, Extension 2.
- Check your approved letter, which may have conditions that you are required to meet before you open. These conditions will be checked during the inspection. If your food establishment does not comply with the approved plans, you will need to make the required changes and schedule another pre-operational inspection. The time spent on pre-operational inspections is billed at the standard hourly rate, so be sure you meet all the requirements before setting up your inspection. See the New & Existing Food Establishment webpage.
Liquor Control Board Inspection
- The Washington State Liquor Control Board will conduct a new liquor license technical support visit within six weeks of opening – but some liquor licenses may require inspection before you open your doors.
- Your local enforcement officer can help you understand liquor laws and regulation. The officer will check your required signs, answer any questions, and review operations with you.
- Officers will conduct ongoing enforcement inspections, such as compliance checks and premises visits, to ensure you’re serving safely.
- You are required to post signs and licenses at your business based on your license type. These signs are available at no charge once you obtain your liquor license. Liquor Control Board enforcement officers and local law enforcement will look for these signs and licenses when visiting your business.
Hire and Train Employees
Hiring the right employees is one of the biggest factors in your success, and hiring and sustaining employees correctly and legally, will be an ongoing responsibility. Make sure you’re ready when the big opening day arrives.
You must complete federal and state employment applications and report regularly on wages and taxes. By the time you’re ready to hire employees, you should already have established accounts and completed the registration and licensing requirements with the Washington Department of Revenue, the Department of Labor and Industries, Employment Security Department, and the Office of the Secretary of State (unless you’re a sole proprietor).
- New Business – Read Section 10 of the Start Your Business chapter of the Washington Small Business Guide.
- Existing Business – Read Section 2 of the Grow Your Business chapter of the Washington Small Business Guide.
- Federal Requirements – The Internal Revenue Service requires you to collect employee information for your records and for required reporting. The Department of Homeland Security requires Form I-9, which must be completed within 3 days of hire. You also need to deposit and report federal employment taxes.
- State Requirements – Within 20 days of hire, newly hired and re-hired employee information must be reported to the state Department of Social and Health Services New Hire Reporting Program using the My Secure DSHS system. Employers are required to follow state workplace wage and hour requirements and to submit quarterly reports and payments to Labor and Industries and Employment Security.
- Teen Workers – Labor and Industries has numerous requirements related to employing workers under 18 years old, including obtaining a Minor Work Permit and completing an authorization form for each minor worker. Labor and Industries’ Teen Workers page provides complete information on hiring minors.
- Washington State Food Worker Cards – All employees of a food establishment, including cooks, bartenders, servers, hosts, bus persons, etc. are required to obtain a Food Worker Card. The class and test are available online or in-person at Spokane Regional Health District.
- Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) – A MAST permit is required for managers, bartenders, and other employees who serve alcohol or supervise its sale for on-premises consumption. This applies to liquor-licensed establishments like restaurants, nightclubs, taverns, and others.
- Safety and Health Training- Employers are required to provide training employees on the accident prevention program.
Employee Safety and Well-being
- Employee Workplace Posters – Employee workplace notices are required or recommended by several state and federal agencies, and must be posted where employees can read them. Posters are available free from state and local regulatory agencies
- Safe Workplace – Employers must have a written accident prevention program and must provide employees with a safe workplace. Labor and Industries has a Restaurant Industry Safety & Health webpage with customized information and resources to help develop a program.
- Fire Safety and Evacuation Plans- the Spokane Valley Fire Department requires a Fire Safety and Evacuation Plan for buildings with occupancy of 100 or more per IFC Section 404.2. Contact them at (509) 928-1700 if you have any questions.
Contact the Permit Center | Phone: 509-720-5240 | Monday – Friday | 8:00am to 5:00pm