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September 10, 2021

Signage Permits – How to get one

Signage is a necessity for any modern business – when used correctly, it is an exceptionally effective advertising medium that lets your consumers know what you’re all about. In fact, research suggests that nearly 80% of consumers have entered a store based on the sole premise that they boasted a strong signage solution. While the benefits of signage have been well-documented, there remains an air of confusion when it comes to the correct process of getting a sign. Many Australian businesses are unaware of the fact that in many cases, it is illegal to go around installing signs at will. In order to ease your concerns, this article details the basic steps to securing a signage permit.

First and foremost, you will need to ensure that your proposed piece of signage is legal. While the legality of signs can slightly differ state-to-state, the laws are, for the most part, relatively straightforward. Information about your council’s prohibited advertising devices can be found on their website.

Land will be the next obstacle that you will need to overcome. If the signage device is to be installed on land that you own, permits are usually not required. Council permits can also be avoided if you are leasing a property, providing you have a contractual agreement with the owner which states that you are allowed to install advertising devices for the duration of your rent. However, if the proposed sign is to be installed on property that you do not own or lease, you will, at the very least, require consent from the land owner. Finally, if land is unallocated or state-owned, permission will be required directly from your local council. In cases where a permit is required, you will be asked to create a location plan for the council demonstrating property boundaries, building footprints, existing signage, and most importantly, your proposed advertising devices.

While this sounds relatively straightforward, it is important to remember that in order to get approval, your proposed signage needs to meet a range of eligibility requirements. While these regulations can differ state-to-state, the majority of councils agree that advertising devices must;

Be appropriately sized

Regardless of if the state that you live in, most local governments have policies in place to ensure that no piece of signage bears an unreasonable relationship to the dimensions of surrounding structures. Essentially, in order to gain approval, businesses must ensure that their signs are proportionately sized and do not boast an unreasonably dominant presence.

Be structurally sound

All signs are expected to be structurally sound. This will normally require certification in line with the local council’s guidelines, but as a general rule, ‘structurally sound’ means that signs should be able to withstand environmental forces and should not pose a danger to the public.

Not impede or distract vehicular or pedestrian traffic

Predictably, signage must be presented in a way that does not impede or distract both foot and vehicular traffic.

Assuming that your advertising device meets the relevant regulatory criteria, you will then be required to purchase a permit in order to begin installation.

What can CV do for you?

As a part of our extensive offerings, CV Media & Signage look to manage the council application process on behalf of our clients. Through our extensive knowledge regarding regulations, and our expertise in negotiations, we aim to promote a smooth planning and development process. Upon purchasing this service, CV Media & Signage will undertake the following tasks:

  • Prepare applications
  • Collate all necessary plans, images and montages
  • Lodge application with council
  • Communicate and negotiate with council

If you are interested in this service, please contact your CV representative for pricing information.

Disclaimer: All councils have different eligibility requirements for signage. This article provides a general overview of the process to getting a sign permit. If you want specifically tailored information, contact your CV representative.


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