Business Resources

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The City of South San Francisco has invested over 300 million dollars to build public improvements that help both the business climate and the quality of life for all residents and employees. This investment includes the Centennial Park and bike path, the San Francisco Bay Trail, new pump stations and sewer facilities, expanded water treatment facility, streets, the Oyster Point Overpass and hook ramps, the ferry terminal, and the future Caltrain Station improvements. Team California uses South San Francisco as a model for a city that “does it right” in attracting and retaining business.

The City has a dynamic economic development team that is ready to assist businesses during the planning, permitting, construction, and opening of a new or expanding business. We serve as a resource to small businesses, providing free consulting services, as well as information on City policies, projects and other data.

We look forward to working with you to make your business a success.  To learn more about applying for a business license in South San Francisco or to renew your business license please visit our Business License Homepage or contact the Finance Department by phone at 650-877-8505 or via email.


South San Francisco is a great place to live and work. We are only 12 miles from the center of the San Francisco metro area. San Mateo County has set aside 40% of its land area for open space and parks. The quality of life here is great. Our amenities include the San Francisco Bay Trail, beaches, regional parks, and great weather.

We also are planning to improve the housing stock for employees. Besides building 500 modern residential units in downtown, we have plans to build another 1,200 units near two other transit hubs and plan to expand and improve local Cal Train Stations. The new housing and transportation improvements will help your employees find affordable housing and get them out of their cars and off the roads.

We’re here to help you take advantage of:

  • Great access to UCSF, Stanford and world-class talent,
  • A central location near venture capital firms, Silicon Valley, biotech companies, transportation hubs and tourist attractions,
  • Lots of space to grow and develop your business, and
  • The City’s long time experience in permitting for small business, industrial, high-tech, and life sciences uses.

South San Francisco Economic Development Services

Business Plan Resources

California Business Resources

Financing & Incentives

Local Resources & Business Advising



The City of South San Francisco has made economic development a top priority. The City is committed to attracting new businesses and ensuring our established local companies continue to thrive.

  • South San Francisco has been at the forefront of supporting entrepreneurship. We've partnered with the San Mateo Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Bay Area Entrepreneur Center to make business resources and advising more accessible to South San Francisco companies.  
  • We have a business-friendly environment with a 40-year track record of serving biotech and manufacturing.
  • We pride ourselves in having one of the fastest turnaround times for entitling and permitting business development.
  • We are the number one biotech cluster in America and first in venture capital, NIH funding and angel funding, and the first in the number of patents.
  • South San Francisco contains OVER 40% of all industrial (including R&D) zoned land in San Mateo County.
  • As the Bay Area's original Industrial City, South San Francisco recently renewed its commitment to the manufacturing industry by joining the Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative which is dedicated to increasing jobs and profitability for the industry.
  • We have room to grow with 6.5 million square feet of R&D space under construction or approved for development within the next 3 years.
  • Commuters have several choices to get to and from work via 2 Bart stations, the SF Ferry, Caltrain and nearby International SFO Airport.

 Apply for a New Business License with South San Francisco 

Renew a Business License with South San Francisco









  BAUM Logo


San Mateo Small Business Development Center

 Bay Area Entrepreneur Center

Bay Area Urban Manufacturing Initiative

 The SBDC offers a wide variety of services for present and potential small business owners. Their services include no-charge expert advising, low-cost training, information resources, events and seminars. All advising services are confidential and free of charge. The SBDC website offers many helpful links and tools for information about business financing, human resources, marketing, tax advisement, legal help and more.

San Mateo Community College 1700 W. Hillsdale Boulevard College Center Building 10, Room 491, San Mateo Phone:  (650) 574-6402 or Email: 

The BAEC provides business management guidance, networking opportunities, one-on-one consulting, business workshops, virtual, co-working and private office space membership options and event space. The BAEC website offers more information about their events, workshops, internships and membership opportunities.

Skyline Community College 458 San Mateo Ave., San Bruno Phone: (650) 825-6840 Email:

BUAM is a 3-year multicity public-private partnership, sponsored by SFMade, to catalyze a powerful and interconnected regional manufacturing ecosystem  to grow manufacturing jobs and pathways to economic inclusion.  The City of South San Francisco became the first member of the Initiative in San Mateo County in July 2017.  The BAUM website offers more information about their events and workshops designed to grow manufacturing throughout the Bay Area.  

926 Howard St.
San Francisco Phone: (415) 408-5605 x 6

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CA Competes Tax Credit -  The California Competes Tax Credit is an income tax credit available to businesses who want to come, stay, or grow in California. Tax credit agreements are negotiated by GO-Biz and approved by a statutorily created “California Competes Tax Credit Committee,” consisting of the State Treasurer, the Director of the Department of Finance, the Director of GO-Biz, and one appointee each by the Speaker of the Assembly and Senate Committee on Rules. Deadline to apply is August 21, 2017.

Small Business Administration Business Loans - SBA offers a variety of loan programs for very specific purposes. Take some time to study the programs described in this section, to see if you qualify to participate.

General Small Business Loans: 7(a): The 7(a) Loan Program, SBA’s most common loan program, includes financial help for businesses with special requirements.

Microloan Program -  SBA’s Microloan Program provides small, short-term loans to small business concerns and certain types of not-for-profit child-care centers.

Real Estate & Equipment Loans: CDC/504 - This loan program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate.

Disaster Loans - SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following...

Loan Programs - From starting up or expanding your business to recovering from disasters, SBA loan programs are available to help your business succeed. You can explore various types of loans that may be available...

California Business Incentives Gateway New Employment Credit- The New Employment Credit (NEC) is a California income tax credit. To obtain a credit a qualified taxpayer must hire a qualified full-time employee on or after January 1, 2014, and pay qualified wages attributable to work performed by the qualified full-time employee in a Designated Geographic Area (DGA), and receive a Tentative Credit Reservation (TCR) from the Franchise Tax Board (within 30 days of complying with the EDD new hire reporting requirement) for that qualified full-time employee. A qualified taxpayer must also annually certify each qualified employee. The credit is based on 35% of qualified wages or wages between 150% (or $10 for a Pilot Area) and 350% of minimum wage. In order to generate an allowable credit, the qualified taxpayer must have a net increase in its total number of full-time employees working in California, when compared to its base year both based on annual full-time equivalents.

Your First Steps Towards Financing – Everything you need to know about getting business loans, courtesy of the Norcal SBDC Lead Center. 

Business Loan Application Checklist – Use this checklist to make sure you have the typical items required for any small business loan application. - Economic development organizations or corporations have various financing programs. This is a list of economic development organizations in CA.

National Venture Capital Association Member Directory - The NVCA serves as the definitive resource for venture capital data and unites its member firms through a full range of professional services.

California Economic Development Directory - A branch of that maintains a list of potential funding sources.

Small Business Loans - A branch of that allows you to find small business lending resources in the U.S.

SBIR/STTR Funding - Can be used to pay for research and development for innovative companies.

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Start and Manage Your Business - SBA's website has resources for helping you, including templates for planning a business and advice blogs. and Center for Business Planning - Sites that have sample plans and writing tips.

CalGOLD - Offers direct internet links and contact information to state, local, regional, and federal permitting authorities for more information. Assists you in finding appropriate permit information for your business.

Business - It can be hard to understand the associated terms and concepts. With over 20,000 definitions, search this site for a specific term, or choose a general category and read a definition for any word.

SCORE - The Service Corp of Retired Executives offers informational sites along with online expertise in starting and owning a business.

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California Department of General Services - Central location for businesses wanting to do business with the State of California. Information about minority certification, etc.

Bay Area Council - The Bay Area Council is a business-sponsored, public-policy advocacy organization for the nine-county Bay Area. It proactively advocates for a strong economy, a vital business environment, and a better quality of life for everyone.

California Chamber of Commerce - The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. This site links to local chambers of commerce.

California Community Colleges Economic and Workforce Development Program - Ten initiatives provide a variety of solutions for business development and workforce training needs to strengthen on-the-job performance and business competitiveness.

California Department of Consumer Affairs — Licensing and Permit Information - Information on types of state licenses required and how to obtain them. DCA licenses in more than 100 business and 200 professional categories, including doctors, dentists, contractors, cosmetologists and automotive repair facilities. It includes 40 regulatory entities that establish minimum qualifications and levels of competency for licensure. They also license, register, or certify practitioners, investigate complaints and discipline violators.

California Department of Finance - This web site provides economic forecasts, county profiles and economic indicators for the state’s fiscal matters.

California Electronic Job Listing Service This California state service is an Internet system for linking employer job lists and job seeker resumes.

California Employer Advisory Council The CEAC and local Employer Advisory Councils (EAC) are recognized and accepted by employers and government as the premier information resources for the employer perspective on employment and other workforce development issues.

California Employment Development Department - A direct link to job placement and referrals, unemployment insurance, disability insurance, employment and training, labor market information, employment taxes and more.

California Employment Training Panel ETP is a California State agency that funds training that meets the needs of employers for skilled workers and the need of workers for good, long-term jobs.

California Healthcare Foundation - Everything small business owners and their advisors need to know about offering health insurance. An unbiased resource on cost estimates, tax savings, coverage options, legal rights, and more.

California Labor Market Information -  Information by geographical area, subject or industry including occupational and career information, employment by industry, wages, and industrial classifications.

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