If you’re in the process of purchasing a sign, you’ve probably put a lot of thought into:
how you want your sign to look,
what you want your sign to say,
and where you want your sign to be placed.

Unfortunately, obtaining a sign permit can often stand between you and your ideal sign.

Regulation often dictates where a sign can go, how it can be installed, the size of the finished product… This list could go on for a while.

In the end, filing for legal permission to hang the sign you’ve put so much thought into… can really throw a wrench in your plans.

Ever-changing sign standards

Not all communities have the same rules and regulations when it comes to signage. Just about every community is different. 

This can be one of the major hurdles with sign permitting: a business in one town may be able to secure a permit quickly and easily, but in the next town over, the process may take weeksand the signs may need to meet incredibly specific standards. 

To prevent any complications, it’s best to look up your city’s zoning laws and sign specifications before any brainstorming or sign design begins.

Historic complications

If your business is located in a historic area, you’ll be subject to even more complicated rules and regulations. Historic neighborhoods preserve and protect their buildings… which results in beautiful architecture, but very strict guidelines for sign hanging. 

Historic sites also tend to keep a consistent aesthetic, which may not align with your brand or vision. Often, carved and sandblasted signs, which have a traditional, rustic look, are an option that’s approved. 

For those of you in the DMV, the Historic City of Frederick is a great example of strict permitting regulations. The Historic Preservation program works hard to protect Frederick’s cultural heritage. To not only maintain the city’s beauty, but to improve it.

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That doesn’t mean if your business is in Downtown Frederick you can’t have signage, but it does mean you must understand the specific size, location, and material restrictions, and follow the unique installation requirements: like not damaging the bricks of historic buildings. That can make drilling into building facades a little difficult… but with professional sign installers, it can be done.

Check out Arachnid Works in Downtown Frederick: we came up with an installation solution where they could brand their office exterior while preserving the historic building and meeting permit requirements. No brick damage here!

Residential complications

If your business is located in a residential area, you may run into similar regulations. In areas with a lot of homes, the height, placement, and illumination of your sign may be limited. 

Often the aesthetic of the neighborhood is considered, as well as the safety and comfort of its residence. Last I checked, no one wants to have a pylon sign block the sun from their backyard pool… or have LED lights illuminate their bedroom through a window all night. So if your business is near homes, definitely check your area’s zoning regulations before you begin!

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Permitting professionals

No matter where your business is, permitting is inevitable. To prevent falling into the tedious time trap, it’s beneficial to hire a professional permitting company. At AMI Signs, we have the knowledge and experience to ensure the legal process goes as smoothly as possible. 

If you’re planning on purchasing new signage for your business, and don’t want the hassle, give us a call at 301-682-2349, or email us at info@amisigns.com. We pride ourselves on not just making cool signs, but cool customers.