Business Signage

Sign Permits and Regulations

When do you need a Sign Permit?

A sign permit is required for most types of business signs that can be seen from the exterior of a commercial premise. If you rely of signage for advertisement or way finding you would most likely need a Sign Permit. See Section 5.4.32 of Richmond Sign Bylaw 9700 for the full definition of a sign.

How are signs regulated?

Richmond Sign Bylaw No. 9700 regulates the size, design and location of exterior signage. Regulated signage includes awning, banner, canopy, changeable copy, fascia, and freestanding, home based business, window, mansard roof, marquee, multi-tenant residential, projected image, projecting, under canopy, and construction signs as well as signage promoting the sale or lease of real estate and directional signs on private properties.

Richmond is a multicultural and inclusive community providing businesses with opportunities in a culturally diverse market. To promote community harmony, it is encouraged that 50% of the sign’s content be in English.

A sign permit from the City is required prior to installation of a sign. Some temporary signs such as election signs, rezoning/development notification signs and sandwich boards are still regulated but do not require a sign permit.

The Sign Bylaw does not apply to:

  • Interior signage in shopping malls;
  • Signs on vehicles including transit buses;
  • Signs regulated by the Election and Political Signs Bylaw No. 8713;
  • Signs posed in accordance with Development Permit, Development Variance Permit, and Temporary Commercial and Industrial Use Permit Procedure Bylaw 7273, Noise Regulation Bylaw 8856, Richmond Zoning Bylaw 8500 and other City bylaws enacted from time to time;
  • Signs erected or placed by the City of Richmond for municipal purpose; or
  • Signs on the backrest of benches placed on public property with the written approval of the City of Richmond.


Each application for a sign permit shall submit, together with an application, a processing fee as specified in the Consolidated Fees Bylaw No. 8636. The application fee is not refundable and shall be credited to the permit fee if the permit is issued. In cases of rejection of an application, the processing fee will not be refunded.

Application for Sign Permit (ZS-2)
Letter of Authorization (PL-40)
Application for Sign Permit, Plans Required for Sign Permit Application

Doing Business in Richmond Basic Requirements English
Doing Business in Richmond Basic Requirements Simplified Chinese
Doing Business in Richmond Basic Requirements Traditional Chinese

The new Sign Bylaw 9700, adopted in 2017, includes changes to some specific sign types. For more information on these sign types, see the links below.

Construction Signs
Real Estate Signs
Business Window Signs
Agriculture Business Sign Application NEW!
Community Events Signs Information (Bulletin Info-39)
Community Event Sign Application
Designing Effective Signage NEW!

Electrical Signs

Installing or altering electrical signs including fluorescent, neon, and LED signs is considered regulated electrical work. For further information on permitting requirements for electrical sign installations or alterations, visit BC Safety Authority.

Contact Information

Please call 604-276-4016 if you have inquiries on sign permit application requirements.