Get a health permit to open a restaurant, bar, or other retail food location

You must have a permit with the health department to open and run your retail food facility in San Francisco.

What to do

1. Have your business information ready

Getting your health permit is only one step in the process to open a restaurant in San Francisco. 

Before you apply for your health permit, you should already have:

  • A location
  • Registered your business
  • Prepared for necessary inspections
  • Applied for other City permits and services

To view these steps, go to the City's guide to opening a restaurant.

2. Get your food safety certifications

Your team can get certified online after taking a course and test. You need the following:

3. Fill out the online health permit application

Have ready your:

  • Business account number, or BAN 
  • Location ID number, or LIN 
  • Federal taxpayer ID 

(Find your BAN or LIN numbers.)

You might need to show other documents, too, like a menu or floor plan. It depends on the type of business you have. You can save and return to this application at any time.

Special cases

Cottage food permits

Cottage food permits

Mobile food facility permits

Mobile food facility permits

Go to our steps for opening up a food truck or other mobile food facility:

Food "pop-up" vendor permits

Food "pop-up" vendor permits

If your business has closed

If your business has closed

You need to close out your health permit.

Fill out and return our business closure form to:

Environmental Health Branch

49 South Van Ness Avenue, Suite 600

San Francisco, California 94103

Get help


Food safety program

Environmental Health Branch
San Francisco Department of Public Health

Last updated February 12, 2024