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San Francisco Health Network
Environmental Health

Restaurant Permits

All restaurants, bars, markets, farmers' markets, concession stands, mobile food units, licensed health care facilities, and temporary food events must obtain a permit to operate from the Department of Public Health. Should the site location require new construction or remodeling, the Department of Public Health is required to check plans and inspect the construction or remodeling.


A permit to operate is not transferable. When a new business owner takes over an existing business, the new owner must apply for a permit to operate within two (2) days, otherwise a citation will be issued. Once applications are received, an inspection will be scheduled. A 45-day temporary permit will be issued and a reinspection conducted at the end of the 45-day period. Upon a successful inspection, the permit to operate will be issued.


Obtaining a Permit

Send all application forms and documents with the appropriate fee to:

  • Environmental Health Branch
  • Attn: Food Safety Program
  • 1390 Market Street, Suite 210
  • San Francisco, CA 94102


  1. Permit Application Packet (pdf) - This packet includes:
    Application for Food Permit to Operate
    Planning Department Zoning Referral Form
    Fire Marshal Referral Form
    Labor Law Checklist for San Francisco Business Owners
    Declaration of Healthy and Safe Working Conditions
    Workers' Compensation Declaration
  2. Food Processing Questionnaire
  3. SFFD Referral Inspection Guideline/Checklist (pdf)
  4. Provide proof of Food Safety Certification.
  5. Submit an application fee in the form of a check or money order made payable to the San Francisco Department of Public Health.
  6. Obtain a Business Registration with the City of San Francisco.


NOTE: Make sure that all applicants sign the applications: if partnership, all partners must sign; if corporation, authorized officer must sign.

Once we receive the application with payment, a Health Inspector will call you to set up an appointment for an inspection. We will issue a permit to operate after a final inspection, confirmation of fee payment by the Tax Collector, and approval from the Building, Planning and Fire Departments, if they were involved.


The Permit will be mailed or given to the operator. It must be placed along with the Tax collector's License Certificate where it can be easily seen by the public.


If your business has closed:

If your business has closed, please fill out a Business Closure Form

For technical assistance or general inquiries in completing these documents, you may now schedule a 30 minute appointment with the Duty Officer.

Call (415) 252-3864 for an appointment.

Please bring all required documents if submitting an application or it will not be accepted.

Note: Your selected time will be forfeited if you arrive more than 10 minutes late.



Making a Complaint

If you would like to make a complaint you may call or visit 311.

311 City Customer Service Agency - Service 24x7

San Francisco Department of Public Health Environmental Health Branch