Starter Kits

Jumpstart your path to success: explore this list of the most common San Francisco businesses and what it takes to get them going. Starter Kits include relevant permits, resources, and guides developed to help you bring your business idea to fruition. If you don’t see your business type, use the Permit Locator to search or Contact Us to suggest a new kit.
Please note that the Business Portal will be shut down permanently at the end of August 2022. Content from the Business Portal is available at If you need further assistance, contact the Office of Small Business at or (415) 554-6134.

Last modified date: Wed, 08/03/2022 - 11:42


Brewing is your passion, so share it with the world. Includes information on finding the right location, applying for the required alcohol permits, and serving light snacks.

Last modified date: Mon, 02/22/2016 - 12:10


Whether you dream of opening a pizzeria, salad bar, or dumpling house, get the key ingredients to launching a food service establishment with a full kitchen.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:54

Short-Term Residential Rental

Looking to rent out your home or spare bedroom occasionally? Find out how to stay compliant with the rules and regulations.

Last modified date: Mon, 02/22/2016 - 14:28


Learn what’s on tap to create the best new bar in town. Includes information on serving alcoholic drinks and offering entertainment like live music, dancing, or billiards (pool).

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:56


Get the buzz on successfully opening a catering business. Includes commissary guidelines and off-premise private or public functions.

Last modified date: Tue, 03/10/2015 - 14:51

food truck
Food Truck

Shift your foodie fantasies into gear by launching a 5-star food truck or cart (also called Mobile Food Facility). Includes private property and public-rights of way. Park locations are no longer available.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:57

retail shop
Retail Shop

Take stock on how to open that must-visit shop around the corner. Includes brick and mortar businesses as well as online stores. Not applicable to businesses that sell food.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:58

small contractor
Small Contractor

Nail down the details on building a renovation or home construction business. Includes general requirements for contractors. Not applicable to specialized jobs with specific requirements.

Last modified date: Tue, 10/21/2014 - 11:33

Hair/Nail Salon

Get the head-to-toe treatment on opening a barbershop, beauty salon, nail salon or beauty spa. Not applicable to massage establishments or businesses that operate hot or dry spas or bathing pools.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:00

Business Consultant

Learn what it takes to launch a thriving freelance business and be your own boss. Not applicable to consultants with storefront offices.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:01

cleaning business
Cleaning Business

Sweep into the housekeeping or janitorial services industry with this fresh starter kit.

Last modified date: Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:02

Art Vendor
Art Vendor

Wield your artistic talents into a creative business selling your hand-made wares on designated SF streets. The Art Vendor program certifies artist and craftspeople to sell their hand-made goods and ensures equitable access to program spaces. Not applicable to public performance, food, cosmetics, or murals.

Last modified date: Wed, 05/19/2021 - 01:23

Food & Beverage Manufacturing

Take your products from the kitchen counter to the supermarket shelf. Includes kitchen requirements, cottage food, and labeling.

Last modified date: Thu, 01/29/2015 - 16:12

Event Planner

You've always thrown the best parties. Now turn that talent into a successful business planning weddings, birthdays, or corporate events.

Last modified date: Thu, 04/30/2015 - 10:11

Freelancer - man with video camera

Need extra money, a flexible work schedule, or supplemental income?  The gig economy may be for you. Every gig, whether you use an online platform or not, is different.

Last modified date: Fri, 09/01/2017 - 15:35


A comprehensive guide to starting your nonprofit - learn how to choose a location, prepare your space, set up and register with the City, and more.

Last modified date: Mon, 01/17/2022 - 19:09