Business signs – or accessory signs in the New York City Zoning Resolution – identify the business where the sign is located. For example, a retail store may have its name on a business sign above its door. An advertising sign is different from a business sign. Advertising signs promote goods and services offered elsewhere – like a billboard for a movie.
The New York City Construction Codes regulate the installation and construction of business signs for safety. For example, the Construction Codes place a limit on the size of a sign that can be installed without a permit and requires a licensed professional Master or Special Sign Hanger be retained to install a sign. The New York City Zoning Resolution governs many sign appearance aspects, including the permissible location and size of the sign.
A permit is required to install a business sign unless the sign is painted directly onto a building or smaller than six square feet in total area and not illuminated. Get sign permit information.
Depending on the size and/or weight of a sign, a registered General Contractor, licensed Master Sign Hanger or Special Sign Hanger may be required. See a list of Licensed Sign Hangers.
Depending upon the size and/or weight of a sign, a New York State registered architect or licensed professional engineer may need to prepare and submit design plans to the Department. Use the step-by-step guide to ensure your business sign is properly installed.
NOTE: DOB is working with the NYC Department of Finance and the NYC Department of Small Business Services to ensure businesses are aware of applicable business storefront sign laws and regulations.
To determine the Zoning District and applicable zoning regulations of your property, visit the NYC Department of City Planning website at www.nyc.gov/planning.
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