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To have a physical location in the city, regardless of whether you're renting your space or purchasing a building, you'll need to speak with several different departments in City and County government prior to opening.

These departments are: 

  • The City Planning and Transportation Department
  • The County Building Department
  • The City of Bloomington Utilities Department
  • The County Health Department 
  • The Bloomington Fire Department


The first thing to do is to check out our city zoning map to make sure your desired location is zoned correctly and reference this zoning districts guide to make sure your business qualifies as a permitted use. You should do this before you purchase a building, sign a lease, or otherwise commit yourself to a location. It is significantly more complicated to get an area rezoned, so before you do anything check that your planned location is correctly zoned and with a permitted use! For more information on zoning and permitted uses contact the City of Bloomington Planning and Transportation Department. 

City of Bloomington Planning and Transportation Department

401 N. Morton St., Suite 130
Bloomington, IN 47404
(812) 349-3423

Historic Preservation

In addition to zoning requirements, your business may be located in a historic preservation district. You can use this map to help determine if your building is in a historic preservation district. Additionally, you can contact Bethany Emenhiser at or 812-349-3420 to discuss the process of working with the Historic Preservation Commission

It's important to note: your business needs to be approved by every department independently. Being approved by the Historic Preservation Commission does not mean you've been approved by the Planning and Transportation Department or vice versa.