When starting your San Francisco business, it is important that you get off on the right foot. One key to starting a business is understanding the business laws of the city where you are choosing to locate your business. Without a clear understanding of what your business needs in order to legally conduct business, you could find yourself in a bit of trouble.
In order to conduct business anywhere, you must register your business and secure any necessary permits and licenses. The city by the bay is no exception. If you’ve chosen San Francisco office space for your business needs, then you need to understand how to smoothly secure a San Francisco business license.
Before attempting to obtain your San Francisco Business Registration Certificate, there are a few things you should straighten out before registering, in order to make the process more smooth:
- Register with the state first if you plan on starting a general or limited partnership, LLC, or corporation.
- Decide on your business location before registering, otherwise you must update your address later, which can cost more money and time.
- Consider and research your business name to ensure it is available.
Secure Your Business Registration Certificate
Before jumping into your business license needs, you must first possess a valid Business Registration Certificate from the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector. You must submit this application within 15 days of starting business, otherwise you will be subject to penalties and fees.
Even if your business is not located within San Francisco, if you perform business transaction or services within San Francisco, your business must have a Registration Certificate.
In order to obtain this certificate, you must fill out and submit the Business Registration Application along with the fee for the certificate. The fee is based on the industry, as well as the time frame in which you apply for your certificate.
Once you have registered, you will receive your certificate along with a Business Account Number, which you will need for obtaining other permits through the city.
Business Property Statement
Any new businesses must register with the San Francisco Office of the Assessor-Recorder which identifies taxable property in the city. Every year you will be required to fill out and report your business property to the Assessor.
Apply for the Correct Business License or Permit
There are more than 100 San Francisco business license and permit options. Your company’s required permits will just depend on the type of business that you are doing.
You can secure various permits from the following departments:
- Department of Public Health
- Police Department
- Fire Department
- San Francisco Entertainment Commission
- Animal Care and Control
Check out the full list of license fees to gain an idea of the type of permits and licenses you might need for your business.
Once you have squared away your business registration and license needs, you can focus on growing your business by becoming connected with the San Francisco small business resources available and getting to know your office space neighbor’s and their industry.
About the Author - Jeff Reinstein is the CEO of Premier Business Centers, a company that provides flexible office space solutions for growing and changing businesses. He has assisted in growing the business from 9 locations to over 70 throughout the United States.