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One of the most exciting parts of starting a business is picking a name for your business and putting up a sign for it. But did you know you are required to have a sign permit to display your sign? Your city’s business license agency has specific regulations around what types of signs are appropriate, depending on where your business is located.

If you plan to have one of the following types of signs on your building, check to see what kind of business licenses, permits & tax documents you need to fill out.

  • Sign painted on building
  • Sign hung from wall or building
  • Freestanding sign
  • Neon sign

You may not need a sign license if your sign is not visible from the outside of your building, or if it’s painted on your window.

Your city may have additional regulations for home-based businesses or buildings in certain type of zoning, so check to make sure you have the appropriate building license for your sign.

Getting Your Sign Permit Approved

If your sign doesn’t meet specific requirements for things like height, size, lighting, construction, and wiring, you may be asked to resubmit your plans for the sign to accommodate. Your sign license won’t be approved until it fits into the requirements your city business license bureau has for signage.

In your sign permit application, you’ll need to provide details on the following:

  • Scale drawing of the sign, including dimensions
  • How you’ll construct it
  • Its exact location
  • Lighting you plan to use
  • Details on letter sizing and color
  • Photograph of area where you plan to install sign

You will be required to pay a sign license application fee, and if your sign will have neon or lighting, you may also need to apply for an electrical permit. Keep in mind, it may take several weeks before your sign permit is approved, and you cannot display it until you have your permit in hand.