Requirements in the United States for building permits are set by various levels of government in the area
where you live. The building codes are usually listed on the permit that you must conform to.
1. Usually the Building department at the county level has control over building permits for the county in which you live.
2. If you live in a city the Building department typically is the place to check on building permits for city dwellers.
3. Smaller towns have their planning and zoning departments that deal with permits within their town limits.
4. Townships have their zoning departments that deal with building permits in the township.
Another area of building permit control is a Gated community which probably has its own set of rules for that community which is governed by a Home owners association. A Gated community is one in which you need a key card to get in through a gate. Some places actually pay guards to man the gate. In some parts of the country there are Sub divisions that operate in the same way. If you live in such areas make sure you attend the Association meetings because you have a voice in the establishment of their rules.
Normally there are fees you must pay to obtain a building permit. These fees pay the salary of the inspector who will be checking on your work to insure you are conforming to the permit requirements. Fees are set by the local offices you will be dealing with and can vary from one place to the other around the country. Fees could range between $20 to $150 depending on the type permit you are after.
When you want to build a structure of any kind you will need a set plans or drawings which must be approved for conformity by the permit office. You might be able to draw these plans yourself or pay an expert to draw them for you. You can also buy ready made drawings or blueprints quite reasonably.
Armed with these facts you can now proceed to find out if you need a permit to build a shed. Rescheck Talk to the respective office in your area to get the facts. More than likely if you live in farm country you can build a storage shed without a permit. Townships may require a permit for sheds and most likely cities and towns will require a permit as well. Sometimes you may need a permit from both a township and a city or town for the same job. You must pay both fees in such a case. If you intend to add electricity to your shed you will probably need a permit for that also. Each municipality could have its own set of rules in every section of the country because they have their own set of circumstances to deal with.
You most definitely will need to do your homework before you can proceed with your building. All of this may seem like a daunting task but it all makes sense when you think about wanting to do a good job in the first place. Most of these rules are for our own protection and safety and to conform to the tenets of a civilized society.