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Key Industries

Small Business

Small Business

While San Francisco is home to many large, established and highly visible companies, more than 95% of all businesses in the City are small businesses. Directed by the Small Business Commission in partnership with the Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Office of Small Business (OSB) is the City’s one-stop shop for all issues related to owning and operating a small business in San Francisco.

The OSB provides information on how to start and expand a business, including permit and licensing requirements, financing options, market research data, technical assistance and site selection options.

San Francisco wants to make this process as easy as possible by gathering all the necessary forms in one place. Rather than visiting numerous departments to pick up application forms, or downloading them from various websites, business owners can now download everything from one place.

License 123 is the first phase of a larger project to streamline the permitting and licensing process in San Francisco. There are limitations to this tool in its current capacity so we welcome your feedback in order to continue to improve our services.

You can always receive customized, one-on-one assistance from the Office of Small Business if you have any questions regarding License 123 or how to start your business in San Francisco. Services are available by phone, walk-in, and by appointment, M-F, 8am-5pm, at City Hall, Room 110. To schedule an appointment, please call 415-554-6134, or email, sbac@sfgov.org. All services are available in English, Chinese and Spanish.

Click here to use License 123 to find out which permits and licenses you need to start your business in San Francisco.

Click here to get to the Office of Small Business website.


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