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The process of opening a new business or rebranding an existing one is exciting and often stressful. With the sheer amount of tasks required, customers more often than not wait to start the sign process until the timeline is down to the wire, sometimes even delaying the opening. Without a sign in place, it’s next to impossible for your customers to find your business as well as lose out on those passing by.

In today’s expectations for next-day deliveries, people forget that signage is custom. From size, shape, color, material, etc. all signs are fully customized to your business and this takes time! Additionally, local regulatory and municipality regulations not only define what you can do, it has to be registered, reviewed, and approved by local authorities. The timeline necessary to make all this happen is rarely considered by new business owners resulting in a stressful process for all parties involved. So we wanted to walk through the process with general guidelines regarding the various elements of the project.

Factors that will impact the Sign timeline:

  • Municipality Codes
  • Property Owner Requirements
  • Design
  • Permitting
  • Production
  • Installation

Municipality Codes:

 First and foremost, you need to know what your municipality will allow regarding signage in your zoning district. Not only are there municipal codes for your township, but they are often broken out into smaller districts such as residential, commercial, and retail. Each district contains different requirements.

Local codes can regulate everything from the style of sign, size, placement, mounting methods, illumination, and in certain areas even colors used.

Property Owner requirements:

 If you are leasing space, refer to your lease for any regulations or requirements for signage in your space. Many times property owners want the consistency of signage on their properties and will define those requirements in your lease.

Sign Design:

Once we know the constraints regarding municipal and ownership requirements, we can begin the discussion around the design of the sign. This can be the fun part of the process. Our experienced designers are accustomed to working within these constraints and creating the most impactful sign design allowable within the defined regulations.


The permitting process is one that 9 times out of 10 is not anticipated by business owners. Once a design has been determined, that design along with installation drawings, contractor registrations, and possibly engineering calculations must be produced. This process can take up to 2 weeks before being submitted to the municipality for review. Typically municipalities will state that it can take up to 30 days for the review to be performed. This timeline is usually determined by the current workload at the time the permit is submitted. We recommend that the business owner plan for the 30-day review as a conservative lead time for planning.


We recommend to all our customers that it is prudent to hold production until the permit is approved. This eliminates the possibility of additional costs if the municipality requests any changes which would cause rework. Once the permit has been approved, the sign can be moved into the production queue and materials can be ordered. With the supply chain as unreliable as it has been in the past few years this process can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks. Average lead times for illuminated signs and fabricated monument signs are around 4-5 weeks. Smaller signs such as panel signs, vinyl signs, etc. can be as quick as 2 weeks.


The installation will usually occur within 1-2 weeks after production is completed. Timing is dictated by the installation team workload. Most installations are completed in one day.

What is the timeline for ordering a custom sign for my business?

Having gone through this process, a good planning lead time for exterior signage requiring permitting would be 8-10 weeks. So we hope that this overview will help you with your planning of new signs for your business. Having your signs up early, before opening will help kick start your business to a successful and exciting grand opening.

So, if you are planning for your new sign, give the experts at Paramount Signs a call. We would love to help you successfully start your business.

Remember, “getting you noticed is Paramount”

Frequently Asked Questions

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