Permits are required in San Francisco to either operate a business or perform construction activity

The permitting process will vary based on your project. You may need to obtain permits from the Building Department, the Fire Department, the Health Department, the State Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or other City and County of San Francisco agencies.


Effective Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the Planning Department will be operating under reduced capacity with most of our staff working remotely until the City’s Stay Safe at Home Order is lifted.

Our offices at 1650 Mission Street and the Planning Information Center (PIC) at 1660 Mission Street are closed, and the phones are not currently being staffed. Please e-mail pic@sfgov.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Depending on the scope of work and the zoning of your property, your project may be allowed. You can find information about what is specifically allowed in the various San Francisco Zoning Use Districts, including the zoning district of your property, by visiting the San Francisco Property Information Map (PIM).

Permit Types

Please select one of the groups below to start exploring more about your project or business.

Business Zoning Check

Visit San Francisco Planning and Symbium’s BUILD for Business zoning check to easily determine whether your proposed business is permitted in a specific location. Don’t have a specific location in mind? You can also search for all areas it’s permitted in San Francisco under applicable zoning regulations and find detailed information on required process and applicable programs.

Affiliated Agencies

Department of Building Inspection (DBI)

DBI LogoOversees the building and life safety of SF's commercial and residential buildings. DBI enforces the City and County's Building, Housing Plumbing, Electrical and Mechanical Codes.

San Francisco Public Works

San Francisco Public Works LogoThe 24/7 City agency cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and nurtures City-maintained street trees; designs, constructs and maintains City-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; builds curb ramps; eradicates graffiti; partners with neighborhoods; trains people for jobs; greens the right of way; and educates the SF communities.