Understanding the eCLIPSE Permitting Process

& how to do your part:

At Philly Kelsey & Co, we directly engage with all professionals on the job before submitting a construction permit application in Philadelphia County. Since January 2020, our firm has completed 120 permit projects and 23 active projects, defined as the time between filing and issuance (Source: Trello).

We see the same issue over and over – compliance, insurance, & other paperwork issues. Philly is now enforcing all subcontractors to be named for all commercial permits (including a residential triplex) – your call to action. More entities on the permit; more eCLIPSE issues; and unfortunately, more delays. January 2021, we implemented a substantial operational change in order to better reflect the pattern of change we experience approximately every 3 months.

Any professional named on the permit could be the culprit of permit delay. Taking 15 minutes to review these 3 easy curated steps will really help accelerate the permitting process.

Now, let’s get started!
You will feel confident about eCLIPSE because you’ve done your part.

Tax & License Compliance Is On Everyone

It is imperative to set permit process expectations and enforce all compliance responsibilities upfront with anyone hired and named on the permit. Better yet, share this article. Until now, we’ve reserved this type of direction exclusively for our clients. Now that we have enough data to support our findings, this URL can be shared as part of the hiring process.

If the contractor cannot do this independently, contractors can hire our firm to resolve most paperwork issues using this mobile-friendly form also found online at https://phillykelsey.co/get-started/. L&I will not issue a permit unless all measures of compliance have been met.

L&I uses specific terminology to indicate permit status that will appear on the eCLIPSE permit application for all named contractors. Stakeholders can track progress and search by permit number using L&I’s Permit Tracker. Definitions of what each status means can be found here.

What Causes Permit Delay?

Most delays occur when the application reaches the Permit Issuance Unit. “HOLDS EXIST” is often directly related to compliance actions that the contractor (i.e., Expediter, General Contractor, Design Professional, etc.) will need to take before L&I will issue the permit. We’ve seen delays at a minimum of 2 weeks, sometimes up to 7 weeks, and if not cleared by 60 days, L&I will cancel the application entirely unless an extension is requested by the primary applicant – and then after, restart.

Applicants are notified through eCLIPSE when any contractor is not tax compliant, but it does not specify the entity. 

Fortunately, you can eliminate most delays by obtaining a Tax Clearance Certificate upon hire and confirming that each contractor’s eCLIPSE account is functioning correctly – as per steps listed in this article.

Once the permit is filed, check that the owner can access the permit through eCLIPSE and obtain confirmation that all contractors have successfully verified their association to the pending permit.

Step-By-Step eCLIPSE Application Prep 101

Each step is color-coded to match the supporting graphic below. 

1) Double check that your “profile” is registered with a mailing address and selected as “primary.”

On the top navigation bar of the page, click the button that says “Profile.” Under the section heading “MY INFORMATION,” click the gray box containing the name and other contact information. Under the section heading “MAILING ADDRESSES,” if there isn’t an address, add one. The page will automatically refresh and the address will now appear. Click the little box next to this address to designate it as “primary.” Click “Save.”

2) Verify that your Philadelphia Tax Account is connected.

On the home screen, about mid-way down, there is a gray band of tabs. Click on the tab that says “My Activity Licenses.” If nothing is there, you must associate your Commercial Activity License by clicking the blue hyperlink on the home page “Associate an Activity License.” Be prepared to enter your 7-digit Philadelphia Tax ID # and either your SSN or EIN. If you are the sole member of an LLC, instructions are to use your SSN. If you are a sole member LLC that has been in business for several years in Philadelphia, email revenue@phila.gov to confirm that your SSN is on record as primary. You can check your account information by logging into Philadelphia’s Department of Revenue’s eWork portal. This extra step in advance of associating your CAL will avoid tax compliance issues related to incomplete paperwork and a whole lot of time!

3) Make sure that L&I has your trade license or professional registration on file.

Go back to the same gray band of tabs in Step 2. Click on the tab that says “Trade Licenses” or “My Registrations.” If you are a design professional or attorney, your license will be located under “My Registrations.” If nothing is there, click the blue hyperlink on the home page “Apply for a Registration.” If you are a contractor and have not registered locally with Philadelphia, find the bolded section Trade Licenses and click “Apply for a Trade License.” Even if you are a PA Registered Home Improvement Contractor, you are still required to register your license in order to be named on permits. eCLIPSE registration is mandatory. You will be prompted to upload each applicable license certification document and insurances which you can find online at Phila.gov/Li.

If you have something to add, we’d love to hear from you! Please email us at support@phillykelsey.co so we may update our content.

We are hiring an Executive Assistant!

We are looking for the right person to fill a key position with our young and in-demand company. We need help preparing financial statements, reports, memos, invoices letters, and other documents; answering phones and routing calls to the correct person or taking messages; handling basic bookkeeping tasks; filing and retrieving corporate records, documents, and reports. 

Click the button below to download the complete job description and compensation offered.

Candidates are asked to email a resume and 3 references to admin@phillykelsey.co.

LIVE INTERVIEW TONIGHT (Monday, December 21st)

Philly Kelsey & Co.’s President and Lead Expediter, Kelsey Lee will be giving an interview on the Smart Real Estate Podcast tonight, December 21st at 7PM!

Get the critical information you need to decide if getting that Tax Abatement is the right move for you and your finances after a year of concern and hardships by listening in as Joe and Kelsey discuss all the ins and outs of the process and what qualifications to keep in mind when deciding your next move that could get you tons of $$$$ back in your account!

Tune in at this link: https://www.facebook.com/smartrepodcast/live

Why We Love Our Job

In the spirit of remote holiday togetherness and not being able to attend company parties to share stories over eggnog, each member of our team took the time to express personal gratitude of our accomplishments. Not only was this our first full year in business but we made it through a pandemic! We hope our reflection of what has kept us going sheds light on the true heart of our team. 🥂

Words of an early mentor ring loudly in my head, “the harder you work, the luckier you get.” 2020 has been difficult for everyone but I have certainly learned how strong I really am. The higher road takes work but having success in taking this less traveled path is what I am most proud of. What keeps me going, despite setbacks and a series of unfortunate events, is the opportunity to educate and encourage our professional family to do the right thing. This is because I have yet to work with a client who fully understands L&I regulation or has kept up with procedural changes. My goal is to inform and empower our clients to choose a path that benefits our future generation above the bare minimum of regulation and contractual obligations. Doing right by the people and the environment is what I value most in my work. It’s harder work, but I have truly been luckier because of it.

 – Kelsey Lee, CEO and Lead Expediter

Year of the VISION! For so many there was a refreshing newness, and certainty about 2020, it just rang that way with no effort. And then 2020 came with a totally different agenda. Threw us off course, set some plans back-literally, some visions got delayed, some dreams got put on hold, replaced with much uncertainty, fear, worry, and concerns. But still I have to say, we rose above, and were able to accomplish some things, and made life easier for our clients who depended on us here at Philly Kelsey & Co. It was and is an honor to do for our clients what they couldn’t accomplish on their own, given the various changes with L & I’s systems, and it’s closed doors to the public.. I am so proud to be a part of a team that knows how to navigate a system that allows our clients to win even in the face of no agreement. We are about what’s possible in meeting the needs of the people we serve!

– Thea Elliott, Affiliate Expediter of Philly Kelsey & Co

2020 has been a crazy time for all of us. A year full of changes and adaptations. A year that I can not wait to look back on as a distant memory. As I reflect on the past year one thing I am thankful for is the consistency and resilience of Philly Kelsey & Co. The entire team has acted as a bedrock for one another. Change and adaptation has been the key to making it through 2020. So why do I love my job? It is the consistency, ability to adapt to changes, and the resilience of the entire team to make it through this year.

– Trenton Uffman, Billing & Accounting

This year has taken us all for quite a ride.  Things have been tough, scary, and full of anxiety for the majority of us. However, one silver lining for me has been the work that we have been able to accomplish and focus on at Philly Kelsey & Co.  It gives me great comfort to know that we are assisting small businesses in Philadelphia, helping them navigate a situation that includes a lot of easy pitfalls that could come back and cause massive financial hardship if not accomplished correctly.  For a small business, making sure everything is kept compliant and avoiding application missteps that could result in massive fines or refining costs, could mean the difference between surviving this year or having to fold.  I’m very thankful to be a part of a team that has our clients best interests in mind, rather than just their own survivability.

– Elizabeth McCann, Office Manager

BLM Response: Your Resources, Delivered by Philly Kelsey & Co.

We want to extend our support and respect to the members of our community who are currently standing against the inhumane treatment of people of color in Philadelphia and across the country. We are outraged at the murder of George Floyd and our deepest condolences go out to his family and to those who have lost loved ones due to hate and racism. Neither hate nor racism has a place in our city or anywhere in this country. We stand against all forms of racism, bigotry, and violence, and a statue to commemorate the late Mayor Rizzo, who urged supporters to “Vote White” while running for a third term (NY Times 1978), undermines our values. 

We are participating in #BlackoutTuesday in support of giving a stronger voice to those who NEED to be heard. We are listening. We stand for Black Lives Matter and peaceful protesting. However, we do not stand for the individuals who using this movement as an opportunity to commit acts of violence in our beloved city. 

Philly Kelsey & Co. is a young business located in the heart of Philadelphia. As such, we have a personal vestment in the safety of other small, local businesses that were already struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several of our retail clients have been particularly impacted, and the latest developments have caused more challenges that must be dealt with.

Though Philly Kelsey & Co. has been working remotely, our business takes place in the heart of Philadelphia with our office located at 1635 Market Street and the Municipal Services Building. Over the past several days, we have become profoundly aware that numerous neighboring small businesses have experienced severe property damage, and we want to use our (albeit small) platform to help as much as we can.

We’ve found and organized valuable resources that we want to share to ensure you receive the assistance you need to reestablish your business here in Center City, Fishtown, South Philly, down City Avenue, all of West Philadelphia and all neighboring areas.

First and foremost: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. 

Take photos, make notes, and file a police report – have it on record, just in case your insurance or whomever you’re applying to for help requires proof of damage. This may also be used to help verify the costs lost.

You may also contact the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Commerce through its special hotline between the hours of 7:00AM – 6:00PM by phone 215-683-2100 or by e-mail: business@phila.gov.

You may find more information at the following link: https://6abc.com/philadelphia-protest-philly-today-pa/6225243/. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy. We’re Philly Strong.

~Philly Kelsey & Co.

“Picking Up Where the City Left Off”