Sidewalk Merchandise Displays

Updated: 1/2023

What do I need to know about displaying merchandise on the sidewalk? 

An important thing to know is you may not need a permit to display merchandise on the sidewalk! If you want to display merchandise in your building frontage zone (immediately against your business), you may be able to do so without a permit if you follow our standards.  

If you want to display merchandise in the furniture zone of the sidewalk, you’ll need a permit to do so. We offer long-term renewable Merchandise Display permits as well as seasonal permits that allow you to set up your display between April 1 – October 31 of a calendar year.  

Ready to Apply? 

Click the Applicant Guide link below for more information about requirements and guidelines:  

Permit Renewal and Change in Ownership  

For Long Term Use Merchandise Display permits, the permit includes issuance, inspection, and an annual renewal fee, subject to increase over time, see our Street Use Fee Schedule PDF on this page for more information. The annual fees cover a one-year period, and our permitting system will renew the permit if it is in good standing.   

Need to make changes to your existing display permit? You can request a permit revision through our Seattle Services Portal.   

If there is change in business or property ownership and no change to the use, the new owner must apply for a new long-term use permit. In the application, note “transfer of ownership” in the project description field.  

Permit Duration 

It’s important to understand that all Street Use permits are temporary in nature and do not grant you permanent rights to occupy the public right of way. We may revoke permits pursuant to Seattle Municipal Code 15.04.070. If a permit is revoked or terminated, the right-of-way shall be returned to its original condition.  


Greg Spotts, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 3800, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 34996, Seattle, WA, 98124-4996
Phone: (206) 684-7623

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The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is on a mission to deliver a transportation system that provides safe and affordable access to places and opportunities for everyone as we work to achieve our vision of Seattle as a thriving, equitable community powered by dependable transportation.