Small Business Assistance Center

small business assistance center

The Office of Small Business, Small Business Assistance Center is the city's central point of information and assistance for small businesses and entrepreneurs located in San Francisco.  We provide one-to-one case management assistance including information on required license and permits, technical assistance, financing options, and other business resources to help businesses start, grow, and thrive.  

Office Hours & How To Contact Us:

  • OSB IS CLOSED every 1st Thursday of the month from 9AM-11AM for staff meeting (unless otherwise noted) 

We provide multi-lingual client services by phone, email, appointment, and on a drop-in basis, M-F 9am-5pm.  We are open through lunch unless otherwise noted.  You may also submit our Contact Us Intake Form and a Business Case Manager will contact you.  We are located in San Francisco City Hall, Room 140.   You may call us at: (415) 554-6134, or email us at: SBAC@SFGOV.ORG

Services Provided: 
How to Start a Business in San Francisco (book) PDF
Customized Checklist for Starting a Business
Business Registration Requirements
Business License and Permit Info
Access to Capital - Small Business Loans
Technical Assistance Providers & Business Support
ADA Requirements and Your Small Business
Business Classes and Workshops
Legal Resources for Entrepreneurs
Employer Mandates - Hiring Employees
Zoning & Land Use Info & Assistance
Building Permit Process Overview
Government Contracting and Certification
Other Business Resources and Programs

sf business portal logo

San Francisco Business Portal
The San Francisco Business Portal is the city’s premier online business resource available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With comprehensive information and tailored tools, the Portal helps you easily navigate the steps to start, manage, and grow a business online from anywhere.  Via the Portal you can quickly and efficiently learn what it takes to start a business, from selecting a business structure and business planning information, to permitting and licensing.  Additionally, at every step along the way you will find key customized resources to help you in the process.  Finally, should you wish to speak to someone about the information found on the Portal, or similarly, if you are not able to locate the information you need on the Portal, you may Contact a Business Counselor at the Office of Small Business via the Portal.  The Office of Small Business provides live support staff to the Portal - Business Counselors stand ready to provide assistance and answer your questions.  Ready to get started?  Visit the Portal and find the information and resource you need now!

New! 2019 Important Due Dates for Businesses

We've noted some important upcoming due dates in 2019 for businesses.  Click here to view the list so you won't miss any important deadlines.  Be sure to bookmark our homepage and check frequently for the latest details, helpful workshops and exciting events.

2018 State Employer Mandates and How to Prepare Your Business

As you prepare your business for the New Year, it’s important to be aware of legislation that could impact your business come 2018. Navigating local, state and federal laws can be daunting, so our office is committed to providing education and resources about key laws and regulations small businesses might have to comply with. Various laws may have overlapping coverage, such is the case with parental and sick leave laws, so it is important to understand all of the local, state and federal laws involved. In many cases, San Francisco requirements often exceed state laws, although there may be requirements such as employee notifications and other requirements at the state and federal levels to achieve compliance. Governor Brown signed into law a host of new employment laws that affect California workplaces starting January 1, 2018. Here’s a summary of key laws, along with best practices to prepare and ensure compliance. Click here for more details.