2019 Business Registration Renewal Instructions

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2019 Business Registration Renewal Online Instructions

Have you moved? Are you receiving mail from our office? Before you renew, use Account Update to view or update your business information. It’s easy to use and may save you time and money.

If you have received a bill from our office with a 2019 business registration renewal fee, simply pay the amount using our Business Tax Payment Portal.

Business certificates will be mailed out starting the third week of June to be posted by July 1, 2018, the start of the renewal period.


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Who Must Renew?

All persons doing business in San Francisco must renew their business registration annually.

When To Renew?

Business Registration is based on a fiscal year and is valid from July 1st through June 30th. The renewal and payment must be submitted on or before May 31, 2018. Failure to meet this deadline will result in penalties, interest, and fees.

How To Renew?

Go to 2019 Business Registration Renewal and login using the following information:

*If you do not have your eight (8) character Online PIN, you may request your PIN here. Processing time may take up to 3-5 business days. You will be unable to renew without your PIN.

Businesses that previously filed their 2017 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Return will receive a business registration bill via U.S. Mail. These businesses will not be able to submit an online renewal and instead will be directed to the Payment Portal to pay.

*If you do not agree with the billed registration fee, you must amend your 2017 Gross Receipts Tax and Payroll Expense Tax Annual Filing to change the renewal fee.



Completing the Renewal

The page headers in the renewal will indicate which section you are working on. You must progress through by clicking on “Save & Continue” sequentially and you cannot skip ahead.

Do not use the back button on your browser, this may cause data to be lost.

You may leave your session at any time by selecting the Exit button. Entries on pages for which you have selected Save and Continue will be saved for a future session.

Once you submit your return you will have the option to Amend or View your return. Select “Amend” to make changes to your renewal.


Identification of Business Activities

Identification of Business Activities

The first step in determining your Business Registration Fee is to select all applicable business activities in which you engaged in calendar year 2017, regardless of the amount of gross receipts that business activity generated.

List of business activities with a brief description. (NAICS Codes)



Business Identification Questions

Business Identification Questions

If your business had taxable business personal property in San Francisco in tax year 2017, select “Yes.” Otherwise, select “No.” Visit the Office of the Assessor-Recorder for more information on Business Personal Property. Input your average number of weekly employees for your entire business, including those employed outside of San Francisco in calendar year 2017. This is a survey question that does not affect your amount due.



Short-Term Residential Rentals

Short-Term Residential Rentals

(For Business Activity: Accommodations)

A short-term residential rental (“host”) is a business that receives rent in exchange for providing short-term (less than 30 days) accommodations in a residential structure. Some hosts receive rent payments through a website company, while others receive payment directly from their guest.

If your business includes a Short-Term Residential Rental, select “Yes.” Otherwise, select “No.” Enter the amount of San Francisco Payroll Expense paid in 2017. Article 12-A of our tax code provides rules for determining San Francisco Payroll Expense. Does your business receive rental income from the operation of one residential structure consisting of three or fewer units? Answer “Yes” or “No”.


Short-Term Residential Rental: Tax Information Category

(For Business Activity: Accommodations)

Airbnb and HostWell are designated by the Tax Collector to collect and remit Transient Occupancy Tax (“TOT”) on behalf of hosts using their online platforms. Select the category that applies to your business, then select the company you work with.


Short-Term Residential Rental: Filing and Payment Frequency

(For Business Activity: Accommodations)

If all rent is received through Airbnb or HostWell, they will collect and remit the TOT for your business.

If some or none of your rent is received through Airbnb or HostWell, you will be asked about a Small Operator designation and tax filing frequency. Small Operators may choose to file and pay TOT annually if their combined gross receipts from rental income is $250,000 or less for all locations and no location has rental income greater than $40,000.



Exemption Certification

Exemption Certification

If you are exempt from the Business Registration Fee, select “Yes.” This will adjust the amount due to “zero” in the “Calculation of Fees” section. You may be required to upload and provide supporting documentation. Our office will review your documentation to verify tax-exempt status. We will contact you with instructions if the exemption is denied. See below for common exemptions.

Any organization or person documenting the following shall not be required to pay registration fee unless the organization is also engaged within the City in an unrelated trade or business within the meaning of Article 12-A or Article 12-A-1:

  1. Any organization having a formally recognized exemption from income taxation pursuant to Section 501(c), 501(d) or 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (IRS) of 1986, as amended.
  2. As qualified by Sections 502, 503, 504 and 508 (IRS) of 1986, as amended.
  3. A person receiving rental income in connections with the operation of a cooperative housing corporation, as defined in Section 216(b) (IRS) of 1986, as amended; one residential structure consisting of fewer than four units; or one residential condominium.
  4. A business to the extent that, and only so long as, federal or state law prohibits the imposition of the registration fee upon such business.

Businesses that are exempt from paying the registration fee will not be able to input Gross Receipts. The field will be grayed out and the fee will be zero.

Click “Save & Continue” to proceed to the Taxpayer Statement page to “Submit” your renewal.



Calculation of Registration Fee

Calculation of Registration Fee

Line A – Input your San Francisco Gross Receipts for calendar year 2017.

If your total gross receipts are less than $100,000 you are eligible for the minimum business registration fee.


All Business Activities in San Francisco

If all gross receipts are generated by business activities in San Francisco, and no business activities occur outside of San Francisco, input your total gross receipts in this line.

Fifty percent (50%) of amounts received from rent-controlled properties may be excluded from gross receipts for residential landlords.


Business Activities both Inside and Outside San Francisco

If your total gross receipts both inside and outside of San Francisco exceeded $100,000 in calendar year 2017, look for your business activity and use the worksheet to calculate your San Francisco gross receipts.

The worksheets can be found at http://sftreasurer.org/grossreceiptsworksheets.

Line B – Registration Renewal Fee
This Line displays the calculated fee based on Business Activity and Gross Receipts.

Line C – State Fee
The State of California has imposed an additional state fee of $4 on the renewal of business licenses for purposes of increasing disability access and compliance with construction‐related accessibility requirements and developing educational resources for businesses to facilitate compliance with federal and state disability laws. For more information on SB 1186, visit http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

Line D-F – Late Payment Penalty
> These lines display penalties, interest, and fees for late filings.

Line G – Amount Due
The sum of lines B through F.

Click “Save & Continue” to go on to the Taxpayer Statement page.


Gross Receipts for Tax Year 2017

Schedule A

Schedule B

$0 to $100,000



$100,001 to $250,000



$250,001 to $500,000



$500,001 to $750,000



$750,001 to $1,000,000



$1,000,001 to $2,500,000



$2,500,001 to $7,500,000



$7,500,001 to $15,000,000



$15,000,001 to $25,000,000



$25,000,001 to $50,000,000



$50,000,001 to $100,000,000



$100,000,001 to $200,000,000



$200,000,001 and over




Taxpayer Statement Page

Taxpayer Statement Page

After reading the terms of the Taxpayer Statement, enter the contact information requested below. Click “Submit”.

If you are an agent of the taxpayer authorized to sign the Renewal on the taxpayer’s behalf, you must have a valid executed Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney Declaration Form POA-1, along with instructions on how to use the form to grant an individual authority to file a Renewal on behalf of a taxpayer, is available.

After clicking “Submit” you will be shown the “Return Submitted” pop up screen. Only now is your renewal submitted.

Click “Continue” to email or download a copy of the renewal and review payment options.



Payment Options, Download, and Email

Payment Options, Download, and Email

Payment options allows you to enter the Business Tax Payment Portal, where you can print a payment coupon to pay via mail or pay online for free via e-check, or via credit card or debit card which have service fees.

You can also download and print a copy of your renewal as well as email a copy of the filing to an additional email address.


Business Tax Payment Portal

Unless exempt from the Registration Fee, all Business Registration Renewals must be submitted with a payment.

Look for and “Select to Pay” Business Registration 2019/01.

Choose your payment method at the bottom of the screen.

To Pay Online by Credit Card / Debit Card/ Electronic Check: Electronic payments are made through our service provider FIS. Please read the information on the AGREEMENT payment page about acceptable payment types. FIS confirmation email only indicates a receipt of your payment information. It may take 5-10 business days for the payment to process and clear with your financial institution. Once payment is submitted the transaction cannot be canceled. Service fees may apply.

To Pay by Check: Make check Payable to “San Francisco Tax Collector.” Write the Business Account Number and Bill Number on your check. Include only the payment stub with your payment. Mail to: San Francisco Tax Collector, P.O. Box 7425, San Francisco, CA 94120-7425.

To Pay in Person at City Hall: You may pay in person during business hours (8am – 5pm, excluding holidays) at City Hall – Rm 140, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102. Taxpayers who come to City Hall will experience long wait times during the renewal period.

To Pay by Electronic Transfer (Wire transfer through Federal Wire System or ACH): Contact Us to request wire instructions.

If a payment is not honored by a financial institution, for any reason, the tax payment is null and void. A $50 returned payment fee will be charged.