Step 3. Location, Location, Location!

Check City Planning: Before registering your business, be sure to check with the Zoning Center to determine whether you are allowed to conduct business in the location or area you have selected. This applies even if you plan to do business out of your home.

If you have a specific address in mind, or just a general neighborhood location, the zoning staff will be able to tell you whether your type of business will be permitted there.

Why you should comply: If you tie yourself to an area or space you cannot use because of conflict with zoning regulations, you can lose your rent deposit along with any improvements you may have made. Your neighbors and other businesses in or near your location may complain, and a City Inspector could determine that you're operating a business illegally and force you to close.

Place to Inquire
Zoning Center
City Planning Information Center
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Hours: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tel: (415) 558-6377
Fax: (415) 558-6409

Come prepared to City Planning with answers to these questions: What is the space you need: square feet, the properties' physical condition, layout, traffic flow, parking, utility requirements and costs.

Commercial Real Estate Resources logo
Easily connect with San Francisco landlords on and find the best location for your business.

Find Property Characteristics and Assessed Values

Find Parcel, Zoning, Permit History

Find City Resources, Geographic Maps, and Demographic Information

View your space and neighborhood with 360-degree maps


Crime Watch Site
CrimeMAPS provides near-real time crime information to citizens - with a variety of mechanisms for querying and analyzing this data.

Tips on Lease Negotiations

Step 4. Register the Business



Small Business Assistance Center, City Hall, Room 110, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102
Phone: 415-554-6134 Office Hours: M-F, 8 AM - 5 PM