Do I need a licence?


You don't need a licence for an A-board outside your shop/business, but we have a code of practice that states how many A-boards you can have and where you can place them.

  • A-boards/displays must not obstruct entry to premises - especially for the emergency services.
  • As a guide, a-boards/displays should be placed against the building, or within at least one metre of it.
  • A-boards/displays should be placed along the front width of the building.
  • Each building may have a maximum of one a-board. However, if the building has public access from more than one street, one a-board per street is allowed.
  • If the building is occupied by more than one business - such as a shopping arcade or alleyway - a composite a-board or display case could be used to advertise more than one business. However, a display case would need to be approved by the council.
  • A-boards and display furniture must be constructed of suitable materials so they don't blow over. They should also be kept in good repair and contrast with their background so they are easier for partially sighted people to see.
  • The quality of design and any display furniture should not detract from the character and appearance of the area - especially in conservation areas.
  • As a guide, a-boards/displays should be around 60cm wide and 1m tall.
  • A-boards/displays must not be fixed to any street furniture or other parts of the highway.
  • A-boards/displays should not obscure any road signs, pedestrian crossings, junctions, access points or bends in the road.
  • Owners of a-boards/displays must have third party liability insurance of at least five million pounds.

We monitor our streets to make sure local businesses are following the code of practice. If any business fails to follow the code, we will speak or write to the owners to ask them to remove the obstruction. If no action is taken, we will ask Staffordshire County Council's Highways department to remove the A-board.