City program waives permit fees for new small businesses

A new permit-fee waiver program aimed at encouraging the growth of new small businesses in San Francisco launched Monday.

A new permit-fee waiver program aimed at encouraging the growth of new small businesses in San Francisco launched Monday.

The First Year Free pilot program will help businesses with less than $2 million in gross receipts that plan to open a new ground-floor location before Oct. 31, 2022.

“Right now, opening a restaurant in San Francisco requires about 20 different permits while opening a retail shop requires up to eleven. Each of these permits comes with a fee,” Supervisor Hillary Ronen, who sponsored the ordinance that created the program, said in a news release Monday.

The Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector will automatically screen new businesses for eligibility; The City has set aside $12 million for the program.

Some fees that will be waived include the initial year registration fee for new businesses, application, inspection and one-time permit fees and initial license fees.

Fee waivers are also available for businesses opening a new location, but not for chain store, or formula retail businesses, according to city officials.

More information about the program can be found here at sftreasurer.org/FirstYearFree.

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