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Is my sign a business asset that I can capitalize or expense?

In the late 1960s, the Internal Revenue Service determined that on-premise signs represent an accessory, real-property interest, and therefore, if you own your sign, you may depreciate it over a period of years. If you lease your sign, the lease payments may be expensed. Any costs associated with maintaining or repairing the sign also may […]

What do I need to know about Copyrights, Patents and Trademarks?

The basic concept behind copyrights and patents is providing legal protection to the inventors, authors, and creators of artistic works that insures their right to economic benefit from the investment of their time, skill, energy and vision of their inventions and creations. This nation’s founders viewed legal protection for economic benefit resulting from one’s creative […]

How do the First and Fourteenth Amendments affect regulation of my business sign?

First Amendment protections guaranteeĀ some of our most basic freedoms, including freedom of speech and assembly, freedom of the press, and freedom of religious expression. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution makes the First Amendment’s federal constitutional guarantees enforceable against actions of state and local government. Thus, a local […]

How will my business sign be regulated?

Signage is regulated through the following two categories: Building and electrical codes The construction, installation, and operation of any permanent business sign will need to conform to all applicable building and electrical codes. Because compliance with these codes requires specialized technical expertise, a business owner should specify that conformity to these codes is the responsibility […]

Understanding the Value of Signage

There is an old axiom that the three keys to successfully selecting real estate are “location, location and location”. The three keys that guide the successful selection and development of commercial properties are Visibility, Accessibility and Parking. An effective, on-premise sign is a critical component of visibility, and the sign should receive the same careful […]

Sign Glossary

ADVERTISING MEDIA: The means by which an advertising message is carried to potential customers, including the Internet, magazine, newspaper, radio, signage and television. AESTHETICS: A term dealing with form, design and/or quality of construction of a particular sign, building, site or structure, that presents a judgmental statement concerning the level of beauty or artistic value. […]

How business profitability is enhanced by effective quality signage.

Frenchy’s Bistro Background: Frenchy’s Bistro is a small restaurant in southern California specializing in authentic French cuisine. Frenchy’s fronts a busy local business street, with only a sidewalk between the building facade and street curb. The location had a small, tri-colored canopy, barely projecting from the building. Only the front of the canopy contained the […]

Sign Design Tips for the Sign User

Keep it visible and legible. Remember that people of all ages are looking through a windshield, in traffic, day and night. They must be able to see and read your sign easily. Save the details for the sale. Don’t attempt to sell them with information on the sign — save that information until they are […]

What Does a Sign Company Do?

Your signage is your first — and one of your best — opportunities to communicate with the public. Signage must be effectively designed, well manufactured and correctly installed to optimize your message. From a business perspective, a sign is not best viewed as an expense, but as anĀ investment. You pay for the sign once, yet, […]

Fifth Amendment Application to Sign Control

The Fifth Amendment applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. It contains two guarantees: The “due process” clause, as in the Fourteenth Amendment, protects citizens from government action that arbitrarily deprives them of a fundamental right without due process of law, and it applies to both the act itself and the procedures incidental to […]