Mayor Introduces Online Resources For Businesses


SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, February 15 Mayor Edwin Lee introduced a new online tool  to help businesses and entrepreneurs navigate the City’s permitting  and licensing requirements as mentioned in a press release from the Mayor’s website.

License 123 is an easy-to-use that assists business owners in being able to access permits and licenses at one convenient site, instead of having to contact multiple city agencies to operate a new business in San Francisco.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy and a significant job creator,” said Mayor Lee. “This new tool is a great example of how we are using technology and innovation to make government more responsive and efficient to help our businesses grow and succeed in our City.”

The new online tool was created in partnership with the Office of Small Business, Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Department of Technology.  To begin the process users will select an industry and the specific type of business they are planning to operate. They will be able to view all permits, licenses and estimated costs associated with their type of business. Forms can be downloaded including the City and County of San Francisco.  There are more than 204 State of California forms and 100 Federal forms related to various business types. The current License 123 offers information for 258 various business types across 19 industries.

“Traditionally, new business owners who did not visit the Office of Small Business would have to approach many departments to pick up or download the forms they need to start their business,” said Office of Small Business Director Regina Dick-Endrizzi. “License 123 provides a single place where forms are easily accessible and downloadable at any time of the day with only a few clicks.”

The system also allows users to be referred to the Office of Small Business for additional assistance. It provides customized business assistance in English, Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese and all forms are offered in Spanish and Chinese. License 123 is an expansion of Mayor Lee’s goal to make things easier for businesses to start, stay and grow in the city.  In November, the Mayor unveiled the Enterprise Zone Web App, a tool that allows businesses to access Hiring Tax Credits online.

“Knowing that the permitting process was not an easy one, I greatly appreciated that License 123 was able to gather all the information I needed in one place,” said License 123 beta user Steve Fox, a small business owner targeting the opening of Urban Putt, a restaurant and bar with an 18-hole indoor miniature golf course in San Francisco’s Mission District in Fall 2013. “Navigation was simple and I was able to get to every form I needed with no more than two clicks.”

License 123 is a product of DocStoc, a company that hosts a selection of professional documents and resources for small businesses.  To access the new License 123 online tool, go to:

By LaDale Anderson