Step by step

Apply to join the Legacy Business Registry

Long-standing small businesses can join the Registry for recognition, marketing and business help, and grants.


Check if you are eligible to apply

Your business must have:

  • Operated in San Francisco for 30 years or more
  • Had no break in SF operations for more than 2 years
  • Contributed to San Francisco’s history or identity

Your business must also be committed to keeping its history alive. For example, maintaining your core business model.

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Contact your supervisor

Your business needs to have a nomination from a member of the Board of Supervisors or the mayor to be a Legacy Business. 

You can submit the letter later, but you should check with a supervisor or the mayor before you apply, since it is a required part of a complete application.

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Fill out the application


A few days

Download the application PDF.

We will ask you for:

  • Your business information
  • Location(s) and ownership history
  • A written narrative about your business’s history and how it has contributed to the identity of San Francisco

Email the completed form to

You may also mail or drop it off in person:
Legacy Business Program
City Hall, Room 140
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

After you apply, we will confirm that we received it. We will then review your application and suggest edits. You will be working closely with the program manager for the rest of the process.

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Check the status of your application

Optional step

We will review applications in the order that we get them.

You can check the status of your application by name.

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Send historical documents

If you are eligible, you will need to provide more detailed documents.

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Get nomination letter


A few weeks
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Finalize your hearing packet and pay fee



We will compile your entire application for the hearings.

Before it goes to the hearing, you must pay a nonrefundable $50 application fee by check.

Make check payable to:

“City and County of San Francisco - Office of Small Business”

Mail or drop it off to: 

Legacy Business Program
City Hall, Room 140
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102

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Attend commission hearings


1.5 months

We will submit your entire application to the Historic Preservation Commission. At the hearing, they will make a recommendation to the Small Business Commission. 

At a separate hearing, the Small Business Commission will decide if your business qualifies for the Registry.

At both hearings, you can attend and speak for 2 to 3 minutes (public comment).

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Once you're on the Registry

People will be able to find your business by name, type, or neighborhood on the Registry list.

You will also be able to get special marketing help, business assistance, and grants. We will share opportunities with you as they arise and you can find more at under "Resources for Legacy Businesses."

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Last updated May 19, 2022