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Top 10 Small Business Opportunities in San Francisco

You reside in San Francisco California and you are considering starting a business there. However, you simply lack ideas on what business to start. Well, this article will help solve this problem. San Francisco is one of the most vibrant cities to do business in the united states of America.

There is opportunity for growth and profitability whether you are a small business owner or a large corporation. But how can you start a business in San Francisco and start competing with other vibrant businesses? Here are the steps to take to start a business in San Francisco California-:

Why Start a Business in San Francisco, California?

The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area in California are the nation’s second and fifth most populous urban regions, with 18.7 million and 8.8 million residents respectively. The Greater Los Angeles Area and the San Francisco Bay Area are the nation’s second- and third-largest urban economies ($1.253 trillion and $878 billion respectively as of 2017), after the New York metropolitan area.

The San Francisco Bay Area PSA had the nation’s highest GDP per capita in 2017 ($99,000), and is home to three of the world’s ten largest companies by market capitalization and four of the world’s ten richest people.

Interestingly, some of the highest income counties in California are Marin County and San Francisco County, which both can boast of per capita personal incomes of over $100,000, and are 2 of the top 12 highest-income counties in the United States. As a matter of fact, some coastal cities include some of the wealthiest per-capita areas in the U.S., notably in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles Area.

San Francisco is a business – friendly city and some of the notable businesses that started and grew there are Twitter, Uber, Square, AirBnb, Gap, Levi Strauss, Lyft, and Yelp. As a matter of fact, the boom in the tech industry gave San Francisco the leverage to becoming one of the strongest business communities in the United States of America.

Please be informed that the business environment in San Francisco is not restricted to tech related companies alone, it supports other small businesses from other industries too. So, what lucrative businesses can you start in San Francisco? Here are some for you-:

10 Small Business Opportunities in San Francisco, California

1. Accountancy

You can help companies with accountancy services. A lot of companies outsource their accountancy services to professional consultants to reduce costs and have access to expert advice and services. Some of the services that you would provide to your clients include Financial Planning and Budgeting, Payroll Management, Bookkeeping, Tax Management, Financial Auditing and Inventory Management and a host of other financial services. You can also offer investment management services to private individuals.

2. Contractor

You can also consider becoming a contractor. You may choose to become a government contractor undertaking projects on behalf of the government like construction of roads and public amenities. You can also purchase and supply items to government establishments and institutions. As a contractor, you are not limited in the contracts you can undertake; you can also work for corporate organizations and private individuals to carry out construction projects and other types of projects.

3. Personal Coach

A personal coach offers support, advice and counseling to clients on diverse life issues. You can choose any of the following fields of coaching-:

  • Business Coach

You can become a business mentor; offering advice and support to business owners.

  • Marriage coach

You can teach couples how to enjoy a happy married life together and how to resolve marital issues.

  • Religious Coach

You can also offer spiritual counseling and advice to your clients.

  • Educational Coach

Another field of coaching is to become an educational coach offering career guidance and counseling services.

4. Professional Organization

Another business opportunity is to help people organize and de-clutter their homes and business premises and train them on how to use innovative methods to manage space.

5. Applications Engineer

You can research, design and develop mobile applications for sale. Celebrity mobile apps are hot right now so you can consider developing one too.

6. Social Media Consultants

There are a lot of businesses and companies in SF and you can start a business of helping them to improve their social media awareness. Social media consultancy involves helping business owners to increase their awareness on social media platforms.

7. Business Consultant

You can also help people who want to start businesses in San Francisco to develop their businesses. You can help with business registration, business financing, research, planning and all other activities that would guarantee the success of the business.

8. Transcription Services

If you are looking for a business that you can easily start at home without capital, then you should think of starting a transcription services business. You can find a lot of jobs in the medical and legal industry.

9. Graphic Designer

Another very lucrative business that you should consider is becoming a graphic designer. There are lots of business opportunities for graphic designers and you can even explore freelancing opportunities on websites like Freelancer, Odesk and Elance. You can help people design images for their websites, business cards and logos, company brochures and banners and a host of other things. You can also consider becoming a website designer as well.

10. Call Center Agency

Lastly, you can consider starting a call center agency. You can offer call center representative services to companies and small business owners. Because of how time consuming handling customer enquiries and complaints can be, companies prefer to outsource this function to specialized call center agencies so that they can focus on the operational aspects of the business.

Remember that having a business idea doesn’t guarantee success in business. It is the effort that you put into the business that would bring you desired results.

6 Steps to Starting a Business in San Francisco, California

a. Select a business structure

First, you have to decide on how you would like your business to be structured. The most popular business structures in San Francisco are-:

  • Sole Proprietorship

You would be the sole owner of your business and would keep all profits and bear all losses and liabilities alone.

  • Partnership

You can run your business with up to twenty partners. You would need to write a partnership deed along with your partners to spell out the conditions of partnership, how you would run the business, share profits and handle liabilities.

  • Limited Liability Company

Just as the name implies, all liabilities would be limited to your shares in the business.

  • Corporation

You can raise capital through the stock exchange market.

  • Non-profits

These are companies that are established for charity or research and are not expected to make profits or pay taxes.

b. Write a business plan

When you have decided on the structure of business you want, then you should write your business plan of course, after you must have decided on the business you wish to do.

c. Choose a location

Before you choose a location to site your business, ensure that you check with the zoning center to find out if you would be permitted to run your selected business in your chosen area. You can visit the City Planning Information center on 1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor, San Francisco, CA 94102 or call (415) 558-6377 to make all your zoning enquiries.

d. Register your business

The next step is to fulfill all legal requirements starting with registering your business. You can register your business at the Secretary of State office or visit for information on how to register your business.

e. Register your business name

You would also be required to file a fictitious Business Name not later than 40 days before the commencement of your business.

f. Make use of Tax incentives and credits

The city of San Francisco has a number of incentive programs for investors that you can take advantage of.