Construction Permission

Request and obtain certificate of land ownership

Agency: Property Registry (Registro General de la Propiedad de Guatemala)

The application is done at the Property Registry (Registro General de la Propiedad de Guatemala). Applicants fill out the application form for certification of inscriptions, providing all necessary information pertaining to the property, as well as their contact information. Payment is made in the respective bank, according to the established fees (from 1 to 10 sheets GTQ 50.00). A proof of payment is obtained, which provides the password for the receipt and the expected date of delivery is also indicated on this receipt.

Time and cost: 4 days, GTQ 50

Obtain project approval from the Ministry of Health

Agency: Ministry of Health

The Health Code of Guatemala (1997) requires that all constructions in Guatemala City need a clearance from the Ministry of Health to obtain a construction license. This requirement was never implemented in practice until 2016.

Time and cost: 30 days, no charge

Hire an environmental specialist and obtain an environmental assessment of minimum impact

Agency: Independent Specialist

The environmental assessment of minimum impact is generally prepared by a professional (engineer or architect) authorized to do so. BuildCo hires the professional and the cost will vary depending on the project’s characteristics.

According to Administrative Ruling (“Resolución Administrativa”) 001-2018/DIGARN/OBT, the warehouse of the case study falls under Category c): “Low potential environmental impact”

Time and cost: 14 days, GTQ 14,000

Verify compliance with Standard for Disaster Reduction Two (NDR-2 Norma de Reduccion de Desastres Numero Dos )

Agency : National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED)

Since October 2013, the National coordinating agency for disaster reduction (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres, CONRED) is required to verify that each building is in compliance with Agreement N. 04-2011-Standard for Disaster Reduction Number Two (Acuerdo Número 04-2011 Normas de Reducción de Desastres Número Dos-NDR-2).

BuildCo. must submit an application including affidavits of the detailed building plans.

Time and cost: 14 days, no charge

Submit a brief or simple industrial report

Agency: One-Stop Shop under the Municipality of Guatemala City

This is a simple form obtained at the Municipality and completed by the architect. It must be submitted in the request for a building permit. The report contains an affidavit on storage use and any industrial processes to be carried out in the warehouse.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Submit evironmental assessment of minimum impact and receive approval from MARN (Ministerio de Ambiente y Recursos Naturales)

Agency: One-Stop Shop under the Municipality of Guatemala City

According to Administrative agreement (Resolución Administrativa) 001-2018/DIGARN from the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN), the warehouse falls under Category c): low potential environmental impact. The environmental assessment along with the application is submitted to the one-stop shop. Required documents include:

  • Initial environmental impact form
  • Project profile
  • Building plans
  • Photocopy of identity card or DPI
  • Deed of affidavit from proposer
  • Legal entity status (if applicable)
  • Certified copy of land ownership certificate
  • Certified copy of the firm’s business license
  • Copy of NIT
  • Digital copies of the environmental document
  • Copy of the environmental document

Time and cost: 75 days, GTQ 9,050

Request and obtain a construction license

Agency: One-Stop Shop under the Municipality of Guatemala City

On January 2009, he Municipality of Guatemala City introduced a new Land Management Plan (Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial- “POT”) and other legislation regulating the construction permit issuance. According to this, the new zoning regimes are established according to general use of land which among others introduced mixed use of zoning regimes.

Under the new implementing regulations of POT, this mechanism is based on three stages: Simplified Procedure (Precedimiento Directo); Approval of Land Management Council (Junta de Ordenamiento Territorial); Approval of Land Management Council and Neighbors’ Consent. BuildCo’s case would fall into the ‘Simplified Procedure’ scheme and does not require the subsequent procedure with Land Management Council and neighbors.

BuildCo must submit the corresponding form with all the requested specifics, together with all the requirements in the previous procedures, photocopies of the identification cards of its legal agent and the professional responsible for the construction, and a photocopy of the latest Single Real Estate Tax (Impuesto Unico sobre Inmueble) receipt and any other required receipts. An architect or engineer must be responsible for the construction work, signing the submitted form and the plans. All the information to obtain the construction license can be submitted in a digital form.

Time and cost: 44 days, GTQ 70,232

Request water and sewage connection and receive requirements from EMPAGUA


Once the construction is finalized, BuildCo must fill out the application at the one-stop shop and receive the requirements from the Water and Sewerage Authority (Empresa Municipal de Agua, EMPAGUA). EMPAGUA will notify BuildCo of the fee to be paid as a deposit to cover the completion of the procedure and a service feasibility study that must be carried out by EMPAGUA. EMPAGUA will start the feasibility study within about 15 days.

In 2007 the Municipality of Guatemala unified the application forms and relevant requirements for EMPAGUA, Department of Urban Construction Control (Departamento de Control de Construcción Urbana) and Infrastructure Directorate (Dirección de Infraestructura).

Another change is that the approvals from all these entities are given simultaneously. However, this has not had any practical impact on the ground.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Notify the Construction Licensing Department upon construction completion and return the license

Agency: Construction Licensing Department (Departamento de Licencias de Construcción)

The license must be returned to the Construction Licensing Department who performs the final inspection. If the construction work conforms to approved specifications, the occupancy permit is issued. When the license is returned, the Municipality notifies the Cadastre Office about the construction and its cost. Within 7 — 14 days, the Municipality visits the site to verify that the building complies with the approved specifications.

Time and cost: 1 day, no charge

Receive final connection to water and sewage

Agency: Municipality/EMPAGUA

This procedure entails the reception of the water connection.

Time and cost: 60 days, GTQ 8,800

Receive final inspection and obtain occupancy permit

Agency: One-Stop Shop under the Municipality of Guatemala City

According to Plan de Ordenamiento Territorial (COM 30-2008), upon completion of the construction work, BuildCo. requests a final inspection from the Construction Licensing Department at the one-stop shop. This inspection shall be performed by the supervisor in charge, who shall record the result on an inspection card.If no objections are raised during the inspection (meaning that every part of the construction is authorized as complying with the plans submitted to the Construction Licensing Department), the professional in charge of the inspection immediately provide the applicant with the certificate of conformity.

Time and cost: 11 days, no charge