Applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis:
- January 1 through March 31: reviewed in April
- April 1 through June 30: reviewed in July
- July 1 through September 30: reviewed in October
- October 1 through December 31: reviewed in January
Once your application has been screened for eligibility it will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee at a public meeting. Artists will receive notice of their appointment date and time in advance.
You MUST make your artwork yourself. If you outsource the design or have an employee who assembles your craft, you are ineligible for the art vendor program. All artists' work must be verified by the Advisory Committee of Street Artists and Crafts Examiners.
Items for which certificates are not issued
- Food items, incense, perfumes, body oils, soaps, or other cosmetic products which come in contact with the human body or skin.
- Busking, theater or musical performance.
- Murals or other painting of buildings or street furniture of any kind.
Other Permit Options
If you already have a California Seller’s Permit from the State Board of Equalization and/or a Business Account Number from the SF Treasurer and Tax Collector, you may already be eligible to sell. The following links provide information for you to determine which permit is right for your business needs.
If you do not make what you sell, or if your product does not comply with the program criteria, you may be able to be licensed through the Police Department's Permit Office. Contact the Police Department at the Hall of Justice, (415) 553-1115, to inquire about a Peddler Permit or other permit option.
COVID-19 UPDATE as of July 7th, 2020: The SFPD Permits Unit Office will be closed to the public until further notice.
If you are seeking a license to perform (music, dancing, etc) on the street, please contact the Entertainment Commission. If you would like to be licensed for Fisherman's Wharf or another waterfront area, please contact the Port. If you are looking to perform at a BART station, please contact their permit office directly.
Applying as “family unit” partnerships
Police Code Section 2400 defines a “family unit” as “two or more persons jointly engaged in the creation or production of an art or craft item, no one of whom stands in an employer-employee relationship to any of the other members thereof, or, two or more physically or mentally handicapped persons participating in a formal rehabilitation program, a part of which includes activities for the creation of arts and crafts by said persons.”
If the art or craft is created by a partnership, each partner must submit an application, and list the other family unit member(s) in the “family unit” section. Each family unit member must pay the $20 application fee; and each family unit member must pay a separate license fee. All family unit members will be screened together and must show the screening committee their significant contribution in the making of the item they are going to sell.
After you have attended the screening and been approved by the Advisory Committee, you will need to take the additional steps below.
Step by Step
Register your business with the City
Obtain a Business Tax Registration Certificate either online or in person at the Tax Collector’s office, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, Room 140 (first floor), San Francisco. Phone (415) 554-4400. The fee is $91 per fiscal year (July 1-June 30).
You'll also need a Seller's Permit
This may be obtained from the State Board of Equalization. There is no fee for this permit and you can obtain one in person at 121 Spear Street, Suite 460, San Francisco, (415) 356-6600 or online.
And finally, obtain your license (also called a permit)
This is the last step! You can purchase your license by paying a three (3) month or annual fee to the "San Francisco Arts Commission" by check or money order. You can also pay by credit card online or at the San Francisco Arts Commission, 401 Van Ness, Ste. 325, San Francisco. If you wish to come in person, please email email@example.com in advance for an appointment.