An image of street signs

When you’re getting ready to put an outdoor business sign up, what kind of things do you think about when you start the process? First, you need to know what the sign is going to say, what kinds of designs you want to put on it, where you’re going to hang it up, if you’ll have it illuminated, how it will be manufactured, etcetera. 

A lot of work goes into putting just one sign up, but the component of commercial sign hanging that a lot of people don’t think about is the part where you need to secure a permit to hang your sign. In this blog, we will explain why it’s so important to secure a permit before displaying a sign in front of your business and how one goes about obtaining a permit. 

Why Do We Issue Permits?

The question that a lot of people ask when they’re presented with the task of procuring a sign permit is why they even need to do it in the first place. I mean, as long as the sign doesn’t say anything offensive, there shouldn’t be an issue, right? 

Not quite. Obviously, designing a sign to intentionally offend someone is definitely not the best way to attract customers to your business. Sign permits are often compared to a new building being constructed — you need approval for the structure and location of the building. Chances are, your city probably views sign permits the same as they view building permits, and that means that the permit procedure can take some time to process. 

In fact, it’s a really good idea to obtain a sign permit before you begin manufacturing the sign just to make sure that what you are making will be approved. In some cities, you might need a licensed sign contractor to even obtain a permit, even if the business owner of the sign is willing to put in the work for that permit. 

It’s important to not allow the pressure of procuring a sign permit to discourage you from hanging up a sign to promote your business. Signage and promoting special deals is a vital part of business marketing, so it’s just important to keep in mind that whatever you are planning to hang up outside for people to see will need some time to secure a permit. 

What About The Laws In My Zone?

There are laws that we, as a nation, are required to follow as a whole because they preserve the integrity of our way of life. Then there are laws that vary by state, but for the most part, the laws that we are discussing can vary by city and even the zones in some of those cities. How permits are obtained, in particular, depends on the city or zone in which you live or want to hang your sign in. You cannot assume that what is allowed for your neighbor across the street applies to you, because it may not be the same for your location. 

Chicago Permit Laws

If you live in the Chicago area, then you’ve seen a plethora of sign advertising any kind of business you can think of. It’s a lively city with a lot of businesses and signs, so there has to be some kind of regulation as to who can put a sign up, and what kind of content those signs are displaying. 

As mentioned before, some of these regulations vary by state, city, and zone, so it’s important to understand the sign permit laws in your area before you decide to advertise a sign. For details on the City of Chicago’s sign permits, visit their page for more information! 

Who Can Help Secure Sign Permits?

The most efficient way to obtain a sign permit, ultimately, is to consult your local sign company to help you in securing a permit correctly. It could take days to try and learn all of the permit and code regulations in your city or zone, and quite frankly, you’ve probably got a lot of other things to do than worry about the specifics of the signage laws. When looking for professional sign contractors, an invaluable quality to look for is their knowledge of city codes and permits. 

Not only can your local sign company help you to secure a permit, but they are also equipped to help design, manufacture, and hang the sign. As we discussed in a previous section, you might need a licensed sign contractor to even obtain a permit. 

In Chicagoland, Sign Central is the top choice of 25 years for anyone who needs a sign created and displayed. Not only are we experts in sign marketing and design, but we will help you procure that pesky sign permit. Save yourself the headache and contact us for your next sign project today!