Business registration

All businesses that operate in San Francisco must register with the City. Businesses may also have registration requirements at the state and federal level.

Pre-Registration Tips

Business Structures

When starting a business, you must decide on a business structure. If you plan to start a Corporation, Limited Liability Company (LLC), Limited Partnership (LP), or Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), you must register with the state first.

Location & Zoning

Check zoning and decide on a location for your business before registering. If you register your business before choosing a final location, you will have to update your registration with the new address. This can cost money and time.


Consider and research your name before registering. You will need a Business Registration Certificate to file for a Fictitious Business Name (FBN), but you should know whether or not your name is available.

Step 1: Business Registration Certificate

Who must register

Every person who engages in business in San Francisco must register at the SF Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector (TTX) within 15 days of commencing business in the City.

What does engaging in business in San Francisco look like? Do you:

  • Have a fixed place of business like a shop or an office?
  • Own or lease land or buildings for business purposes?
  • Regularly maintain goods for sale?
  • Solicit business for all or part of any seven days during one calendar year?
  • Perform work for all or part of any seven days during one calendar year?
  • Drive on SF streets for business purposes for all or part of any seven days during one calendar year?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you must register your business.

How to register

Complete the online application form. After submitting the application, you will receive two separate emails to the address you enter in the business registration application:

1. An email with a DocuSign copy of the application that you must open, review, sign, and finish.

2. A payment email with instructions and information required to pay the registration fee, including a link that you must click on for payment options.

Pay the registration fee(s) as instructed. Your confirmation of payment will include your Business Account Number (BAN), which you need in order to apply for other permits within the City.

To register you need

  • Legal Structure
  • Business Name (for sole proprietors, this is your legal name)
  • Business Tax ID (for sole proprietors, this is your SSN or ITIN)
  • Business Start Date
  • Email Address, phone, and mailing address
  • Ownership Name(s) and address(es)
  • Location information, including business name/dba, and business location address
  • Average number of employees per week
  • Estimated payroll expenses and gross receipts from SF
  • Payment information

Payment options

  • Electronic Check
  • Credit/Debit (added fee applies)
  • In person at City Hall

Rate schedule

Business Registration Fees for new businesses are based on anticipated gross receipts. Refer to the Treasurer & Tax Collector Rate Schedule to determine your registration fee.

NOTE: You can update your Business Registration online, including changing your mailing address and opening a new location.

NOTE: Business Registration is valid from July 1 – June 30, and must be renewed each year by May 31st. The online system will automatically calculate your business registration fee and state fee as well as penalties, interest, and administrative fees (if applicable).

Step 2: Business Property Statement

After you have registered with the Office of the Treasurer and Tax Collector, business registration information will be shared with the Office of the Assessor-Recorder.  The Assessor-Recorder will automatically create an account for your business for annual Business Property Statement filing. 

In Spring, you will receive a notice from the Assessor-Recorder to fill out a Business Property Statement (Form 571-L) by reporting the book cost/full cost of all your supplies, equipment, furniture, machinery, and fixtures at each business location as of December 31st of each year. You then pay a tax on the total derived value. All businesses in California pay taxes on these items, which the state calls Business Personal Property.

NOTE: When you close a business, you must notify most of the entities above in order to close out your accounts. Otherwise, you may continue to be charged for registration fees. Learn more about Closing your Business.

Step 3: Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI)

Beginning January 1, 2024, certain companies need to report information about who ultimately owns or controls the company to the U.S. Department of the Treasury through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

You need to report this information if your company:

  • Is a Corporation, or
  • Is a Limited Liability Company (LLC), or
  • Was created in the United States by filing a document with a secretary of state or any similar office under the law of the state or Indian tribe, or
  • Is a foreign company and was registered to do business in any U.S. state or Indian tribe by such a filing.

When to report?

  • If your company was created or registered before January 1, 2024, you must report by January 1, 2025.
  • If your company was created or registered on or after January 1, 2024, and before January 1, 2025, you must report within 90 calendar days after receiving actual or public notice that your company’s creation or registration is effective, whichever is earlier.

For more information, visit FinCEN’s Beneficial Ownership Information website.


Last updated January 22, 2024