Resources for Businesses

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and our City partners offer a number of resources to assist small businesses seeking to start, stay and grow in San Francisco:

Small Business: Information, Advocacy and Assistance on Call

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.

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.

The San Francisco Business Portal is the ultimate resource for starting, running, and growing a business in our City. With comprehensive information and tailored tools, the portal helps you navigate the process and quickly learn what it takes to be compliant.

You can always receive customized, one-on-one assistance from the Office of Small Business if you have any questions regarding 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, All services are available in English, Chinese and Spanish.

For more information, visit the website of the Office of Small Business.


Financial assistance is available for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses in San Francisco. The City offers affordable financing to eligible businesses, and partners with community lenders, Working Solutions and Bay Area Small Business Finance, to provide businesses with technical assistance, affordable financing, and support.

For information about our grant programs, please visit the Neighborhoods section of our website.

Training and Technical Assistance

OEWD contracts with local economic development organizations to provide technical assistance, training and loan packaging services for small businesses. Through a vast network of business support organizations, individuals can access classes and one-on-one assistance on a variety of topics, including business planning, financial management, marketing, human resources, and legal services.

Visit the Small Business Assistance Center website for a list of current partners and grantees that provide technical assistance to small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Taxpayer Assistance

The Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector is the central point of contact for business registration, tax and license information. The office’s Doing Business in San Francisco resources provide helpful information to start-ups and established businesses alike regarding business registration, licenses, property and business taxes, as well as a host of other business-related information. In person or by phone, customer service representatives are available to help companies meet their local requirements for doing business in San Francisco.

Legal Compliance

The Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) provides information and assistance in complying with the myriad of local, state and federal business laws, including the Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave and Health Access Program Ordinances. OLSE works with businesses to further their understanding of compliance issues and the legal requirements for conducting business in San Francisco.

Jobs Squad

The Jobs Squad helps small businesses save money, navigate City processes, access vital City programs, and stay informed of issues that may affect them. This team of City staff conducts door-to-door outreach to small businesses around the City to connect them with help and information. Find out more on this page.

Women's Entrepreneurship Programs

OEWD's Invest In Neighborhoods (IIN) works with several nonprofit partners to provide a variety of business programs for women who are aspiring entrepreneurs or are business owners in San Francisco. Visit Women's Entrepreneurship Programs to learn more and apply for services.

Open In SF

Open in SF offers free services to people opening small brick and mortar food-based businesses in San Francisco. The program is in a pilot phase focusing on food and restaurant businesses. If you are ready talk about the permits and licenses needed to start a food-based business, a dedicated case manager is available to help:

  • Provide information about the process and requirements
  • Evaluate business owner needs
  • Engage and instruct throughout the process
  • Coordinate suite of City services

Learn more