Greenville Sign Permitting 101

One of the most exciting parts of starting a new brick-and-mortar business is putting up a sign with your company logo.  You know what’s not exciting?  Dealing with city sign permit regulations!  Speaking from experience as a new downtown business owner, the permit process in Greenville County isn’t intuitive or easy to figure out.  Below we’ve put together a checklist of things to think about as you’re planning for your new sign.

  • Before you do anything else, make sure to apply for your Business License and Occupancy Permit as soon as possible!  The city will want to see these before granting a sign permit.
  • Figure out what kind of sign you want (options are awning sign, projecting sign, monument sign, freestanding sign, decorative post sign, window sign, or billboard).  The design guidelines differ based on type of sign, and so does the fee that you’ll pay for your permit.
    • For electric signs, make sure you have an electrical permit from a licensed electrician before applying for your sign permit.
    • For signs projecting over a public right-of-way, you’ll need an Air Rights Encroachment Permit.
  • Determine if you are in the Central Business District.  If so, you’ll need a Certificate of Appropriateness from the design review committee.
  • Review Greenville County’s Sign Standards and Design Guidelines and make sure your sign is in compliance.
  • Complete an Application for Permanent Sign.
    • Make sure your application contains a scaled drawing!  In other words, mark out the dimensions of your sign, as well as the building to which it will be attached.  Indicate how many feet an inch represents on the drawing (e.g., 1 inch = 10 feet).
    • Your scaled drawing should show the entire building, not just the section where the sign will be affixed.  You may want to include a full-building and zoomed-in version of your drawing.

Got questions?  Shoot us a message, and we’ll try to get you answers!


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