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Opening Branch in NYC

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by nolanola, Sep 25, 2020.

  1. nolanola

    nolanola Member

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    New Orleans
    Hey Everyone,
    We are currently opening a branch in NYC and are looking for some help getting started there.
    We have researched the sign hangers license in NYC and it seems to be VERY restrictive.
    For instance, having 5 years of experience under a licensed sign hanger in NYC is one of the listed requirements.

    Has anyone had experience navigating the licensing process there and can provide some tips or tricks?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Frisco, TX
    Sounds like the electrical sign requirements here in Texas...
     
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  3. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Good luck. I thought you had to be a union shop too and they don't just let anyone in there either from what I have heard. There is usually no way that I know of to get around the experience requirements except for working under someone elses license.
     
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  4. CanuckSigns

    CanuckSigns Very Active Member

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    You guys seem to have some really restrictive business licensing down there! I have my HST number for collecting tax, and my business license that costs $25 every 5 years, thats all I need to open up a shop doing general signage, electrical work is more complex with more licensing, but I can buy electrical signs from a csa shop and have a licensed electrician hook it up no issues.
     
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  5. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Yeah welcome to the USA. You need a permit to **** here and a special license if it smells.
     
  6. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Oddly enough not in California... the land of regulation. Shitting in the street is OK by their standard. Seems un-progressive of humans to do that but what do we know?
     
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  7. Notarealsignguy

    Notarealsignguy Active Member

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    Bet you do if you dig a hole to **** in
    In all seriousness, 20-30 years ago LA had the worst air quality in the world and california was heavily criticized for it. They made changes in light of this which fixed it and now they are criticized for the regulations. Lose lose situation and they have somehow become the whipping post for doing what they were told to do
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2020
  8. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    The regs in Texas are strict, but they don't sound nearly as onerous as those in NYC. Our company maintains a license to do business down in Texas since a good number of our clients have locations in both Oklahoma and Texas (as well as other adjacent states).

    I don't know all of the TDLR requirements for sign companies off the top of my head, but IIRC any sign shop building and/or installing signs in Texas must have at least one staffer with a Master Electricians License. Anyone else touching any of the electrical stuff needs a minimum of a Journeyman's License. We have had to send crew members down to Texas for continuing education classes on things like electrical work, crane operation, etc. But with all the covid stuff going on things have gone "virtual," which is more convenient for us North of the Red River.

    It's all about location, location, location.

    Some cities and towns have extremely restrictive sign codes, typically rich, upper income zones. Some places have little if any regulations at all. Most places across the US fall in various places between the two extremes. It's pretty easy to guess the regulatory differences by looking at specific locations in Google Street View. One town will allow you to install just about anything while another town (the more beautification-oriented town) will ban or severely limit all street signs, put severe limits on building signs, ban electronic variable message centers and then cover up the main commercial thoroughfares with enough bushes, trees and landscaping that the store fronts are getting hidden behind a jungle of shrubbery.

    I do worry the influence of "rich" areas will lead to ever more restrictions elsewhere. That's why I'm a real hard-@$$ about junk quality signs. Ugly signs inspire these anti-signs ordinances. I consider any "sign designer" who doesn't take his job seriously as someone who is not only polluting the commercial landscape with his "phoning it in" garbage, but he's a guy who is ultimately cutting his own throat in the long run. Do a professional job or do something else for a living! The sign industry really needs to make a serious effort at policing itself. There is way too much gutter trash quality junk going up on poles and on buildings all over the place because we have a bunch of hacks just falling into this line of work after failing at other pursuits. All of a sudden they think they're artists and are going to get rich making signs. I've seen that ploy play itself out many times going back to the 1990's. I don't get the logic of it. These newbies expect to get rich not knowing a freaking thing doing a job we've been doing for a long time. Yeah, right.

    That statement makes me think you have never tried installing signs in Norman or Edmond.

    But what do commercial signs do other than **** off members of the Dark Skies Society?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2020
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  9. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I'm anti-dark sky. On cloudy nights here its bright and you can see everything. This pic was not in night mode or long exposure.

    20200923_205352.jpg 20200923_205346.jpg
     
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  10. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

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    You do NOT need to be a union shop to have the NY sign installers license. I know people there and the one I know best is extremely anti-union. The unions will try to tell you otherwise, but it's not a fact. I've been in the electrical sign business in the Phila area for almost fifty years (am a union shop) and still don't go into NYC. The labor rate is just out of this world. A journeyman union installer can bring home about $135K a year, plus benefits plus retirement/annuity, union fees, etc. The full package is well over $200K/year. However, you can get astounding prices in NYC. and don't even get me started on the NY crane operators license - that's a whole other issue.

    There are probably many more non-licensed sign shops in NYC that there are licensed ones. Feel free to go that route but I don't recommend it. Also, permits in NYC require more paperwork than you could imagine. I've had quotes and acquisition labor alone starts at about $3000.00. Plus engineers stamps, electrical license/permits etc.

    And as far as getting the actual license, your best bet might be to build a partnership with someone who has the license. You don't need the license to make the signs (AFAIK) just need it to get the permits and install the signs. It's like building electrical signs. You don't need a contractors/installers/electrical license to make them. You just need to be in a relationship with a nationally recognized testing lab. Which does NOT have to be Underwriters Lab BTW - there are others. Being licensed only comes into play (except perhaps in that LALA land known as california) when you install the signs. However, check into the details because it's been at least five-six years since I've bothered looking. There is loads of work in my area and NYC is too much hassle. Those that do have the license guard it carefully and charge accordingly. Good luck!
     
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  11. nolanola

    nolanola Member

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    Sep 24, 2014
    New Orleans
    So best recommendations are partnership with existing company or sticking to production only.
    Has anyone been through the process before and can help out with contacts at city hall or something?
     
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