Learn about Surrey's business signage bylaw and how it helps reduce clutter and improve business.

Surrey’s Sign Bylaw aims to strengthen the visual presence of businesses cluttered with signs that don’t meet legal requirements.

The Sign Bylaw prohibits the following signs on all properties:

  • Flashing sign, except in Special Sign Areas
  • Roof sign
  • Billboard sign
  • Inflatable sign
  • Flag, as a sign
  • Mural, as a sign
  • Streamer flags, except for religious and institutional event purposes, provided that the flags are removed within 30 days after the event has concluded.
  • Painted window sign
  • Window sign above ground floor
  • Electronic message board sign

Industry-Specific Information

Review Sign Bylaw information for:

Already meet all the requirements? Apply for a Sign Permit. You need a Sign Permit in Surrey for any fascia, freestanding, awning, or canopy signs that will be displayed.

Sign Bylaw Enforcement

It is the responsibility of each business or operation to comply with the sign bylaw. Enforcement focuses first on new developments or signage that is already illegal under the former bylaw.

Increased enforcement will occur for new signs and where infringements affect neighbouring businesses or traffic.

Designing Effective Signage

Signs are tools to reach your audience and part of your organization’s brand. Your signs are a business investment, so it’s important to maximize their impact. Surrey’s Sign Bylaw was amended to make the bylaw clearer and to help you effectively use signs to offer information without confusion or distraction.

Getting Started on Sign Design

Be prepared at the design phase to get your business running sooner with signs your customers can read clearly. Connecting with the City at the design phase is key.

Sign makers need to show responsible due diligence by making customers aware of new regulations. They must be fully informed about the bylaw to help their customers avoid bylaw violations. Complete information is available when you secure a sign permit.

Processing variance (change) requests will also be quicker, providing flexibility to businesses that have comprehensive sign packages with articulate design plans.

The process will enhance beautification, reduce clutter and help create an inviting climate that makes Surrey an attractive place to do business.

Tips for Designing Great Signs

Avoid common signage pitfalls to make sure your sign is attracting customers:

  • Cramming in too much information. This causes information overload, or ‘visual noise’
  • Spelling and grammatical errors. Check punctuation and spelling to be sure you say what you mean.
  • Too many fonts. This says you don’t have a clear message. Using consistent typefaces makes your message clear and tells people you know your business and deliver knowledgeable service.
  • Placing signs close to your neighbours or competitors. Leave enough space to give signs a chance to ‘breathe,’ to avoid confusion about who delivers what service and where.

Signage plays an important role in establishing your brand image and connecting with your patrons. Avoid getting caught in a visual blur by creating signs that are simple and strong.

Your sign says a lot about what you offer.

  • Be succinct: Stand out by drawing attention with plenty of space. Too much information will overload readers’ senses and turns visitors away.
  • Be consistent. Stick with one (maximum of two) typeface or font on your signs and use the same typeface in your marketing material.
  • Get it right the first time. Avoid costly mistakes (the by-law is enforceable) by taking time to understand the By-law and work within the parameters.
  • Beautification benefits your business. There’s no need for a sign that screams - reflect your expertise through tasteful signage.

For more information about Surrey's sign bylaw, contact 604-591-4370 or planningdevelopment@surrey.ca.