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Permits and Licenses

Pre-Application Planning and Review
Advertising
Artist/Designer
Cleaning Services
Entertainment
Events
Food
Massage
Medical Cannabis Dispensary
Pets
Property-Related Businesses
Public Works
Tattoo
Transportation-Related Businesses
Other (code, tax calendar, fees)

Business License/Permit List (pdf)

** for all San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) permits listed below, please review the Municipal Police Code (MPC) and the permit requirements before filling out the application forms. The specific MPC is listed next to each SFPD permit.

 

 


 

Pre-Application Planning and Review
Pre-application planning and review is vital to business pre-startup success. Set up appointments with the applicable agencies listed below for guidance before applying for a license/permit.

Small Business Assistance Center
Office of Small Business
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Suite 110
415-554-6134

Fire Department Pre-Application Plan Review Fee
San Francisco Fire Department
698 Second Street, Room 109
415-558-3303

Fire Prevention Plan Check Fees
San Francisco Fire Department
1660 Mission Street, 2nd Floor
(415) 558-6177

Department of Building Inspection - Preplan Meeting
Department of Building Inspection
1660 Mission Street, 1st floor
415-558-6088

Conditional Use - Planning Department
Planning Department
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor
415-558-6377

 

 

Advertising
Balloon and Kite Advertising (MPC § 989-992)
Police Department

Distributor Advertising - Class A + B (MPC § 524 and §459)
Police Department

 

Artist/Designer
Encounter Studio (MPC § 1072.1-1072.45)
Police Department

Filming in San Francisco
Economic & Workforce Development

Flame Act Performance (PDF)
Fire Department

Nude Model Public Photography (MPC § 1073.1-34)
Police Department

Oven, Drying/Baking
Fire Department

Photographer (MPC §3400-3427)
Police Department

Street Artists Program
Arts Commission

Street Photographer (MPC §3400-3427)
Police Department

 

Cleaning Services
Carpet Cleaning
Contact: Department of Public Health, Fox Plaza
1390 Market Street, Suite 210, San Francisco, CA 94102: 415-252-3800

Cleaning & Dyeing Work
Contact: Department of Public Health, Fox Plaza
1390 Market Street, Suite 210, San Francisco, CA 94102: 415-252-3800

Dry Cleaning
Fire Department

Laundry (automatic, hand, or wash)
Department of Public Health

 

Entertainment
Read the Entertainment Commission FAQ's before applying for a permit.

 

Events
Amusement Park
Entertainment Commission

Ball or Ring Throwing Games
Entertainment Commission

Bingo Games (MPC Art. 32)
Police Department

Circus
Entertainment Commission

Itinerant Show
Entertainment Commission

Masked Balls
Entertainment Commission

Miniature Golf Course (MPC § 770-781)
Police Department

Movie Picture/Public Assembly Theatre
Fire Department

Museum (MPC § 1045-1049)
Police Department

One-Night Special Dance
Entertainment Commission

One-Time Event
Entertainment Commission

Poker Games (MPC § 3200-3224)
Police Department

Public Bathhouse
Police Department

Public Outcry Sales (MPC § 1200-1214)
Police Department

Rodeo Exhibition and Show
Entertainment Commission

Rodeo Exhibition/Wild West Show (MPC §1020)
Police Department

Shooting Gallery (MPC § 1039-1044)
Police Department

Skating Rink
Police Department

Special Food Events
Department of Public Health

 

Food
Permit to Operate - Food Handling Facilties
Department of Public Health
Candy/Snacks
Produce Stands
Food Market
Bar/Tavern/Lounge
Catering Facilities
Certified Farmers Market
Commissaries
Fast Food
Food Prep/Serv (fee exempt)
Mobile Food Prep. Unit
Produce Stand
Restaurant
Retail Bakery
Retail Food Vehicles
Take-Out
Wholesale Food Market

Café Table and Chairs
Department of Public Works

Mobile Caterer (MPC § 1320-1320.24)
Police Department

Pushcart Peddler (food) (MPC § 1330-1330.21)
Police Department

Pushcart Peddler (food)
Department of Public Health

Food Demos, up to 30 days (indoor)
Department of Public Health

School Cafeteria, Private
Department of Public Health

Vending Machine
Department of Public Health

Weights and Measures Fees
Department of Public Health

Open Flames and Candles on tables
Fire Department

Compressed Gas Storage
Fire Department

Portable Containers
Fire Department

High Piled Storage
Fire Department

Oven, Drying/Baking
Fire Department

Place of Entertainment Permit
Entertainment Commission

Extended hours permit
Entertainment Commission

Valet Parking (MPC §835-839)
Police Department

Color Sidewalk Curb Program
SFMTA

Alemany Farmer's Market
Real Estate Division

Commercial Composting
Department of Environment

Water - PUC
Public Utilities Commission

 

Massage
Read the Department of Public Health Massage FAQ's before signing a lease or applying for a massage license. Forms, applications, fees, regulations, and exam information are provided on the DPH site.

 

Medical Cannabis Dispensary
The Department of Public Health (DPH) serves as the permit issuing agency and coordinates all necessary referrals to various City Departments including Planning, Building Inspection, and Fire.

    • Criminal background checks of all MCD (medical cannabis dispensary) applicants and managers.
    • Submittal of MCD (medical cannabis dispensary) security and lighting.
    • Inspect each facility and determine necessary structural and operational requirements as described in San Francisco Health Code Article 33: Medical Cannabis Act.
    • Conduct public hearing on application after receiving written approval from all other City Departments.
    • Issue or deny permit to operate.
    • Inspect each permitted MCD twice annually and in response to complaints.
  • Medical Cannabis Dispensary - Planning Deparment
    The Planning Department reviews zoning and proximity to schools, community centers, and facilities providing substance abuse services; reviews CEQA (Californian Environmental Quality Act) compliance.
    Required discretionary review or conditional use by the Planning Commission may be required.
    The execution of public notices will be required.
  • Fire Deparment will review general fire safety issues, and Place of Assembly Permit.
  • Department of Building Inspection will evaluate accessibiity, building, plumbing, and mechanical permits as may be necessary to comply with structural requirements of Article 33, SF Health Code (PDF).

 

 

Public Works
Debris Boxes
Department of Public Works

Sidewalk Display
Department of Public Works

Sidewalk Flower Markets
Department of Public Works

 

Pets
Dog License
Animal Care and Control

Dog License Renewal
Tax Collector's Office

Dog Walking Parks in San Francisco (PDF)
Animal Care and Control

Guidelines for Dog Walkers
Animal Care and Control

Municipal Code Relating to Animals
Animal Care and Control

Pet Hospital / Pet Shop / Dog Kennel
Department of Public Health

 

Property-Related Business
Apartment License
Department of Building Inspection

Apartment Building Registration (4 Units or more)
Tax Collector's Office

Bed and Breakfast
Department of Public Health

Boarding House
Department of Public Health

Hotel License
Department of Building Inspection

Hotel Tax
Tax Collector's Office

Property Tax
Tax Collector's Office

Skilled Nursing Facilities
Department of Public Health

Building Permits (rates based on valuation)
Department of Building Inspection

Electrical Permit
Department of Building Inspection

Environmental Review Fees - City Planning
City Planning

Mechanical Permit
Department of Building Inspection

Plumbing Permit Issuance
Department of Building Inspection

Public Assembly Permit
Fire Department

Sign Permits
Department of Building Inspection

Variance Fees - City Planning
City Planning
http://www.sfgov.org

 

Tattoo
The Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Section registers all persons (practitioners) applying tattoos, body piercing(s), or permanent cosmetics.

Transportion Related Business
Auto Wrecker (MPC § 1235-1239)
Police Department

Driverless Auto Rental (MPC § 1175-1180)
Police Department

Garbage Truck (per vehicle)
Department of Public Health

Licensed Tour Guide (MPC § 1295)
Police Department

Loudspeaker Vehicle
Entertainment Commission

Minor Repairs Garage
Fire Department

Motorized Rickshaw (MPC § 1075-1195.28)
Police Department

Off-Heliport Landing Site (MPC § 3100-3112)
Police Department

Parking Permit (Commercial)
SFMTA

Parking Tax
Tax Collector's Office

Pushcart Peddler - Food (MPC § 1330-1330.21)
Police Department

Pushcart Peddler - Food
Department of Public Health

Pushcart Peddler - Nonfood (MPC § 864-870)
Police Department

Pedicab Driver
Police Department

Self-Service Stations
Fire Department

Service Stations
Fire Department

Tank Vehicle, Dispensing
Fire Department

Taxi Badge / Taxi ID Card
Taxi Commission

Taxi Cab Rules, Policies, and Regulations
Taxi Commission

Tire Rebuilding
Fire Department

Tow Car Driver (MPC § 3000-3000.13)
Police Department

Tow Car Firm (MPC § 3050-3065)
Police Department

Valet Parking (MPC § 835-839)
Police Department

Vehicle Parking Garage/Lot
Fire Department

Other Permits
Dealer in Firearms/Ammunition (MPC § 613-617)
Police Department

Escort Service (MPC §1074.1-1074.30)
Police Department

Fortune Teller (MPC § 1300-1317.2)
Police Department

Antique Shop (MPC § 1276-1282)
Police Department

Secondhand/Trade-in Dealer (MPC § 1276-1282)
Police Department

Junk Dealer (MPC § 974.1-974.25)
Police Department

Closing Out Sale (MPC § 1267-1270)
Police Department

Pawnbroker (MPC § 2800-2824)
Police Department

Junk Yards, waste handling
Fire Department

Tobacco Product Sale
Department of Public Health

OTHER RESOURCES

 

 

Small Business Assistance Center, City Hall, Room 110, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-554-6134 Office Hours: M-F, 8 AM - 5 PM

 
Last updated: 7/9/2013 11:48:34 AM