User menu

Permit and Licenses

Regulatory License and Permit Information

In addition to the Business Registration Certificate, certain types of businesses are required to obtain additional permits and licenses to operate in San Francisco. The Department of Public Health, Fire Department, Entertainment Commission, Animal Care and Control, and Police Department are the local regulatory agencies that administer more than 100 types of permits and licenses.

License Rate Table April 2014 - March 2015
License Bill Sample March 2014
License 123 - Find Out Which Permits & Licenses Your Business Needs

After the business permit is approved by the assigned regulatory agency, the business owner pays a license fee to the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector and the license certificate is issued. The license must be posted at the place of business and must be renewed annually.

Pursuant to the Ordinance amending various sections of the San Francisco Business and Tax Regulations Code, the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector has implemented a consolidated billing system for license renewal fees. Businesses receive a single bill which will list all the license renewal fees associated to a single ownership based on their current Business Registration Certificate Number we have on file. Payment is due on or before March 31 of each year and a bill will be sent every February.

Applying for a New Business Permit or License

San Francisco business owners must submit the appropriate permit application and pay any associated fee to the regulatory department(s). Usually, a business must pass an inspection to be approved.

Information about regulatory department permits and permit forms are available at:

  • Department of Public Health

    1390 Market St. Rm. 210, SF, CA 94102
    (415) 252-3800 | 8am - 5pm

  • Police Department

    850 Bryant St. Rm. 458, SF, CA 94103
    (415) 553-1115 | 8am - 5pm

  • Fire Department

    698 Second St. Rm. 109, SF, CA 94107
    (415) 558-3303 | 7am - 5pm

  • San Francisco Entertainment Commission

    City Hall, Room 453, 1 Dr. Carlton B Goodlett Place, SF, CA 94102
    (415) 554-6678 | 9 am - 5pm

  • Animal Care and Control

    1200 15th Street, SF, CA 94103
    (415) 554-6364 | 11 am - 6:30 pm

If an inspection is necessary, the business owner will be contacted by the agency to schedule an appointment.

Renewing a Regulatory License

The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector handles the annual business license renewal. When all license fees are paid in full, the license certificate(s) is issued. Please note, that some businesses who do not have a current Business Registration Certificate will not receive licenses until all business tax and fee matters are resolved.

Payment Information

License fees can be paid online, in person at the City Payment Center by check, cash, or money order, or by mail using check or money order. Penalties are added to the license fee due, beginning one month after the license expiration date.


Important information about payments:

Payment Deadlines:
To avoid penalties, payments must be scheduled to ensure receipt of payment by the delinquency date shown on the business license bill. Review the deadlines for timely payments.

Convenience Fees:
Online payments are subject to convenience fees which are added to the total amount due.

The following credit cards and debit cards are accepted online and by phone (IVR):

Credit Cards

  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Master Card

Debit Cards

  • NYCE
  • Pulse
  • STAR

Electronic Check

An electronic check works like a regular check, only no paper is involved. Your bank account information is securely transmitted through the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank, a withdrawal is generated against your account, and money is transferred to the City's bank account. The process is very similar to using your Automatic Teller Machine card to pay for groceries at the local store.

A convenience fee is charged for paying your license bill online. Please note that the convenience is a third-party fee and is not part of city funds.

  • For Credit Card payments the convenience fee is 2.55% of the total amount charged.
  • E-check payments can now be made with NO CONVENIENCE FEE.
  • For qualifying Debit Card payments (Visa Personal Debit, STAR, NYCE and PULSE; subject to your bank's participation*) the convenience fee is a flat rate of $3.95 (* Please note that if your banking institution does not authorize your card for "PIN-less debit" transactions, your transaction will be processed as a credit card with the corresponding 2.55% convenience fee.)

For customer support regarding property tax transactions made or being attempted: or 877-513- 5465. Note: Payments are not accepted at this number.


Back to Top