Do You Need a Sign Permit?
Today we answer the question, “Do you need a sign permit”? As a business owner, you probably know by now that signage can be your best friend...
Not only do signs let potential customers know that you are in business, but a decent sign can create a lasting impression and brand recognition. However, just because signs are beneficial does not mean that you can put them anywhere you want. Wherever you are, there is a high chance that you will need a sign permit to install signage.
If you fail to follow sign regulations pertaining to business signage, then you could face serious consequences. That is why you should learn more about obtaining a sign permit, including when you need them and how to get them.
When Do You Need a Sign Permit?
Did you know that in some towns and cities around the United States even the act of setting up a banner on your property to announce your grand opening may require a sign permit? It’s true. Also, in many cities, you, the business owner, cannot obtain a sign permit on your own. Sometimes, you need a licensed signage contractor—like Tupp Signs—to help you get the permission you need.
However, the process should not deter you from getting the promotional signage you need. As long as you plan out everything correctly, getting permits is easy.
So, when exactly do you need to receive a sign permit from your local government? Any time a business is installing new or modified or replacement signage on their property, you will need to receive a permit. Receiving a permit ensures quality control.
Here are some reasons a sign permit is necessary:
- Signs need to be aesthetically pleasing, not an eyesore. The style of a sign usually reflects the zone in which it is being placed.
- Signs that are placed in the wrong position can be a dangerous hindrance to drivers, especially those who are exciting the property and need to see the oncoming traffic.
- Signs must reflect certain specifications of size (height and width), as well as conformity and uniformity with surrounding signage.
- Electrical signs need to be checked for brightness and color, since it can be distracting to drivers or a nuisance to local residents.
Steps to Obtaining a Sign Permit
In the event you are not required to use a sign contractor to get the permits you need, you simply have to do the following:
- Apply for a zoning review of the external signage plans. Once these plans have been approved by the local zoning department, you move on to the permit department.
- Fill out the application form and sign it.
- Bring two sets of drawings for your proposed exterior signage. These construction drawings should also include the seal of approval from a professional architect or engineer.
- All new signs will require occupancy permits, so bring that along.
- If you are getting illuminated signage, be prepared to apply for a second electrical signage permit.
- Pay the necessary fee.
Once you receive the appropriate sign permits, you can then have your signs installed.
Additional Information About Sign Permits
Now that you know why and how to go about getting a sign permit, there are a few other things to keep in mind. First, as mentioned earlier, every city in every state is going to have varying regulations and rules about signage. Even a single road could be zoned differently on both ends, so do not be surprised if the things your competitor across the street is doing is not allowable on your side of the street. A professional signage company will be able to help you sift through the details about what is permissible.
Next, you should always obtain your permits prior to the manufacturing of your signs. Paperwork and approval may take between 2-3 weeks, sometimes even longer depending on how busy the permit department when you apply. Then, you have to wait 2-6 weeks for the production of your signs. Again, signage professionals can help you plot out a timeline so that you don’t fall behind your launch date.
Lastly, most cities will ask for “mock-ups” and sometimes even an elevation drawing of the sign that you are submitting for approval. If you are using a sign company, this is one thing you don’t have to worry about. The company will have already created the mock-ups for you.
Do You Need a Sign Permit?
If you plan on opening a business, do not wait to start the process. Now that you know that most businesses require a permit or two for their outdoor signage—banners, channel letters, monument signs, and more—you should also realize that waiting until the last moment can be a major setback. Make receiving your sign permits part of the business plan and budget.
Looking for signs and assistance with your sign permits? Contact Tupp Signs or fill out the contact form. Whether you are creating signage for a new business, moving to a new location, or just revising your business image, we can help provide you with all the signage you need—and help with those permits!