restaurant sign permit

In order to open a restaurant, there is a long list of restaurant licenses and permits that a new establishment must obtain. But when you decided to become a restaurant owner, you were up for the challenge. While a sign permit for your restaurant may seem like a minor detail, when you think about how important it is in the grand scheme of your restaurant design, it’s best to make sure it’s squared away.

Here’s how a restaurant can obtain a business sign permit easily.

1- Determine What The Local Requirements Are

Before you put up your restaurant sign, you need to know what the sign permit requirements are set forth by your local government. Most have specifications with regards to size, location, and even lighting.

Sign permits may be required for:

  • Permanent restaurant signs
  • Ground and tract signs
  • Signs erected on walls
  • Awning signs
  • Signs in shopping centers or at multi-tenant buildings
  • Internally illuminated signs
  • Special events signs

Search for your state’s government website and start there. In Rhode Island, for example, we have a Small Business Government Portal for these kinds of questions and requirements.

Before you put up your restaurant sign, you need to know what the sign permit requirements are.

2- Check On Rental Agreements

If you are renting or leasing the building where your restaurant is located, you will also want to get approval from your landlord about the signage. It’s best to do that in writing to avoid future headaches in addition to your sign permit.

restaurant licensing and permits guide cover

When all is said and done, to obtain even just one of the proper licenses and permits can cost as much as 10,000 dollars. Luckily, the only resource you’ll need to open your doors with the right licenses and permits is here.

Get The Guide

3- Submit Your Sign Permit Application

Depending on the state where your restaurant is located, you may be able to handle the entire application process online. Be prepared to submit applications for different types of signs. Wall signs, tract signs, pole signs, billboards, banners and blimps – all these signs and many others require different Sign Permits depending on where you are filing.

Be prepared to also have to file:

  • Zoning certification
  • Consent from landlord or property owner
  • Sketches of signs you wish to use
  • Business licenses and permits

4- Pay Sign Permit Fees

Again, pending on where your restaurant is located, a sign permit cost can vary. The cost may range from $20 to $50.

Once you have your sign permit, be sure to follow the guidelines for sign installation. In some cities, you need a licensed contractor to install your sign…. So your uncle’s friend doesn’t count.

What other restaurant licenses and permits do you need? Read about them here.

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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.