Business Enhancements

Having outdoor seating, a merchandise display, and signage can help your business thrive while also making our streets and sidewalks a place for everyone to enjoy. We encourage businesses to use the spaces outside their location to create a more active and interesting streetscape for everyone.

Specifically, our goals are to:

  • Support economic development in business districts
  • Increase the vibrancy of our streets, sidewalks, and public spaces
  • Ensure safety and mobility of the traveling public

Sidewalk Tables and Chairs

Four young women chatting while sitting at a sidewalk table.

Our free public amenity permit can be used for tables and chairs on the sidewalk but does not permit table service or alcohol consumption. A good option for coffee shops or takeout restaurants, the tables and chairs may be used by both customers and the general public and must be secured overnight.

Get a Tables and Chairs permit!

Sidewalk Cafés

Six people enjoying a sidewalk cafe as passersby go about their business.

This permit has an associated cost but allows for table service and alcohol consumption. Sidewalk cafés are considered private - for customer use only - and not open to the general public. Both fenced and fence-free options are available. They may be located on the sidewalk or within a street parking spot in front of your business.

Get a Sidewalk Café permit!

Parklets

A person enjoying outside seating in a neighborhood parklet.

Parklets convert street parking spots into small-scale parks that are available to the public 24/7. They activate streets, support social interaction, and provide a buffer between pedestrians and traffic. Parklets are an invitation to consider how street space can be used for something other than parking, especially in areas with limited open space.

Get a Parklet permit!

Sidewalk Merchandise Displays

A rack of clothing on the sidewalk outside of a store.

With this permit, businesses can display merchandise on the sidewalk in front of their building. It's an effective way to attract passersby to your business!

Get a Sidewalk Merchandise Display permit!

Signs, Awnings, and Graphics over the Right-of-Way

If you're interested in making signage for your business more noticeable, this permit allows for signs affixed to buildings or awnings that extend over streets and sidewalks. Please note that you must also apply for a corresponding permit with the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.

A neon sign featuring a red rocket ship for Sonic Boom Records

Signs: For more information about the signage code in Seattle, please see Seattle Municipal Code 15.12 and Seattle Municipal Code 23.55. A-frame signs placed on the sidewalk must follow our portable sign guidelines.

A green awning with the name Metropolitan Grill in white along the side,

Awnings: This permit is only for awnings with printed signage and is not necessary for plain awnings. Awnings hanging over the public right-of-way also require a Construction Use in the Right-of-Way permit. For more information about Seattle's code requirements for awnings and similar decorative elements, please see Seattle Municipal Code 15.10.

Get a Signs and Awnings in the Right-of-Way permit!

Event Pole Banners

A colorful banner advertising the Seattle Pride Parade date

With this permit you can advertise an event or organization on pole banners that can be seen by passing vehicles and pedestrians. Please note: Neighborhood identification pole banners are permitted separately under the free Public Amenities permit

Get an Event Pole Banner permit!