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Facade advertising: Permit or notification necessary?

Russell Advocaten B.V.
Amsterdam, Netherlands

A Dutch shopping street without facade advertising would be unthinkable. But are you allowed to simply put your business name (in animated lighting) on the facade? Is a permit required if you want to replace existing facade advertising?

There are no general rules for facade advertising. The rules are determined by each municipality independently. However, the more prominent and invasive the advertising is, the sooner a permit will be required. Therefore, first check the rules in your municipality or ask legal advice before placing facade advertising.


Each municipality determines separately in its general municipal by-law whether, and under which conditions, facade advertising is allowed. Many municipalities have a permit system: facade advertising without a permit is prohibited.

In some cases, submitting a notification form is sufficient. A notification might be sufficient if the facade advertising requires no structural intervention, for instance if the advertising is painted onto the facade of a building and is not illuminated. If screws and bolts are used, a permit will soon be necessary.

Integrated environmental permit

If a permit is required, the municipality will check it against criteria such as size, location, structural safety and requirements regarding the external appearance of buildings. If your business is located in a listed-building, there may be further restrictions as to the appearance of the advertising and its integration into the building. In that case, an additional listed-building consent is required. Now that post-war functional architecture is increasingly being designated as listed buildings, you may also find yourself unexpectedly sitting in a listed building.

If an existing facade advertising needs to be replaced, current permit criteria apply to the replacement. This could make ‘replacement by the same’ impossible. Therefore, in the event of a replacement or renovation check what the applicable rules are.


If your business is not eligible for a required permit for facade advertising, you might want to consider alternatives, such as a flag pole, advertising on a lighting column or advertising on your company cars. These alternatives may also be subject to a permit but the conditions thereof might be less restrictive.

More information

Do you need legal advice on facade advertising? Or do you have any other questions about real estate and rent? Please contact us.

The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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