However, if the business premises are in a listed building, they must also apply for an authorisation from the Minister responsible for cultural affairs (hereinafter the "Minister").
Who is concerned
Any professional may put up an advertisement or a business sign on the main facade(s) of their place of business, provided they first apply for:
- a building permit from their communal authorities;
- authorisation from the Minister, if the business is housed in a listed building.
The installation of signs or advertisements promoting the use of tobacco, its products or ingredients associated with tobacco is strictly prohibited, except on the buildings of establishments where tobacco products are manufactured or stored. Thus, a tobacco shop may identify itself as such by displaying a sign bearing the wording "XY Tobacconist", but may not add the name of a tobacco product.
The authorisation will only be granted if the works comply with:
- the general development plan and, where applicable, the general development project;
- the "new district" or "existing district" special development plan;
- regulations applicable to buildings, the public roads and work sites.
Whenever the installation of the business sign or banner is less than 10 metres of the solid white line on the side of the road such as a "chemin repris" (state road) or less than 25 metres of the solid white line of a national road, the company has to request a roadworks permit from one of the Regional Departments of the National Roads Administration.
How to proceed
Filing an application
For a building
The content of the application file may vary from one commune to another.
For a listed building
The business must file an application with the relevant commune, which will forward it, along with its opinion, to the Minister.
In the case of a listed building, the application must include the following documents:
- a detailed statement of the reasons for putting up the sign/advertisement;
- a list of the business's signs and advertisements already displayed on the building, or erected on the property, with details of their dimensions, location and, where applicable, the date on which they were authorised;
- an extract from the land register (cadastral extract) showing the exact location of the building;
- a drawing of the existing or planned building showing where the advertisement will be located;
- a scale drawing of the advertisement, with details of the text, graphics, layout and design, as well as the materials and colours used, its luminosity, its intensity and sound level;
- recent photographs of the facade or the intended location.
The administration's decision
Once they have received approval from the mayor and/or Minister, the applicant may then put up their signs/advertisements.
If the building in question is a listed building, the works will be carried out under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture.
If the Minister fails to respond within 6 months of the application, the display of the sign/advertisement shall be deemed to be authorised.
Any sign or advertisement that is put up in infringement of the law must be taken down and the premises restored to their previous state.