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Writing out business goals and action steps not only helps you clarify and organize priorities, it gives potential lenders a clear vision of your roadmap to profitability.

Once you have a clear understanding of what it takes to start and run your business, explore options to raise or borrow the money you need.

Before you commit to a location or space, know what you’re getting into. Every location has zoning laws defining where you can legally operate a business.

All San Francisco businesses – even the small ones – must register with the City. Depending on your business, you may need to register with the State or Federal government as well.

You’ve chosen that perfect business name. So what’s the next step to make it legal and protect your brand?

Planning to build something new? Before you break ground, obtain a building permit to make sure you meet building and fire codes.

A business that is accessible to all not only helps your customers, it’s the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state regulations require that businesses be open to people with disabilities.

Find and submit permits, licenses, and forms that apply to your business.

Hiring your first employee is a big step and introduces new complexities. As an employer, you must consider labor regulations and payroll taxes at the local, state, and federal levels.

Congratulations, your doors are open. Now you can focus on managing and growing your business.

Register Your Business.

Business Structure City Registration State Registration Federal Registration.

All businesses – even small ones – that operate in San Francisco must register with the City. You may also need to register or incorporate through the State first, depending on your chosen business structure. Additionally, businesses with employees need to register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the Federal Government.

Last modified date: Thu, 06/18/2015 – 14:47.

Choosing the legal structure that best suits your business type is a top priority. This important decision impacts how much you pay in taxes and your personal liability (i.e. who is legally responsible for debts). The most common structures include: sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation. This choice must be made prior to registering your business and, in some cases, even before choosing a name.

Last modified date: Thu, 06/18/2015 – 14:49.

Register with the SF Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector (TTX) within 15 days of commencing business in the City.

Last modified date: Wed, 10/04/2017 – 17:13.

If you chose a Limited Liability Company (LLC), Corporation (Corp), Limited Partnership (LP), or Limited Liability Partnershipship (LLP) as your business structure, you must register or incorporate with the CA Secretary of State. This can be accomplished in two steps.

Last modified date: Fri, 01/17/2020 – 13:01.

Most businesses must register with the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN). If you are not a US citizen, you may need an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead.

Last modified date: Mon, 04/27/2015 – 13:23.