Apply for a street vending permit

Get a permit to sell merchandise or prepackaged food on the sidewalk.

What to do

1. Register your business

You must have registered your business to apply for a Street Vending Permit.

2. Check if you are eligible

With this permit you can sell:

  • merchandise, like clothes, electronics, or souvenirs 
  • prepackaged food
  • things you make (but not food)

You are not allowed to sell:

  • alcohol
  • any food that is not prepackaged

3. Get your documents together

We will ask you about:   

  • Your business name
  • Your Business Account Number (BAN) (Your BAN is a 7-digit number. You can look it up.)
  • What you will sell
  • If you will sell from a fixed location or if you will move around
  • Where you are going to sell or your route if you are moving around

You will also need to upload a picture of yourself. You can take a picture from your phone and upload that.

You will need to agree that you own the items you are selling, and that what you have put in the application is true.

4. Check your location

If you are selling from one place, you must leave a path at least 6 feet wide for people using the sidewalk. If the sidewalk is too narrow, or if there are items on the sidewalk like a bus stop or bike parking, we can't give you a permit to sell there. 


  • A 6-foot unobstructed and accessible path of travel on the sidewalk, which may be increased in certain high pedestrian traffic areas. 
  • 8 feet from Arts Commission approved Street Artist License holders. 
  • 7 feet from fire hydrants 
  • 15 feet from bus zones or blue zones 
  • 2 feet from the curb, when operating adjacent to existing on-street parallel parking

We are not issuing permits in the following areas: Between Valencia Street and South Van Ness Avenue, including Mission Street, between 14th Street and 26th Street, and the Powell and Market Cable Car Turnaround.

5. Start your application

It usually takes about an hour to fill out the application.

After you submit your application, we will email you a copy of your application and information about what to do next.

6. Fees

If we are able to approve your application we will send you a bill. The fee for a Street Vending Permit is $471 a year. You also need to pay a $11 Board of Appeals surcharge. 

Fee waiver

You do not need to pay all of the permit fee if you get any of the following:  

  • California State Medi-Cal 
  • Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT)  
  • SFMTA Lifeline card  
  • Women Infant and Children (WIC) Benefits 

If you are asking for this waiver you need to submit a photo of your benefit card. 

You also do not need to pay the permit fee if your personal household income is under 200% of the federal poverty level.

Everyone, even people with a waiver, must pay the $11 Board of Appeals surcharge.

Nonprofit organizations can ask for a 50% fee reduction if the organization meets any of the following:

  • funding does not exceed $2.5 million annually
  • is a Community Benefit District (CBD)
  • supports a cultural district
  • has a mission of supporting economic development or community vitalization

The renewal fee is $109 + $11 Board of Appeals surcharge. With the Fee Waiver, it will be $54.50 +$11 Board of Appeals surcharge.

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Last updated July 8, 2024