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Starting a business in San Mateo

San Mateo is located mid-way between San Jose and San Francisco and is a perfect place to do business.  Business owners have easy access to the Bay Area, drawing upon networks and clients that ensure success. Tech companies, internet start-ups, financial institutions, restaurants and independent retailers have located here successfully and are an important part of the community.  

Whether a business is looking for an office space close to the freeway or requires a retail floor Downtown, San Mateo caters to all kinds of needs.  Moreover, the place is not restricted to offering office and retail areas alone.  Properties are also available for a variety of other commercial uses such as, medical and light manufacturing, warehouse, and the like.  Interested parties can explore the commercial property listings over the internet to get a better idea and to find a space that will best suit their business needs.

Commercial areas:

San Mateo offers a variety of commercial spaces.  From 25th Avenue to Hillsdale Shopping Center and from Downtown San Mateo to El Camino Real, the choices are plenty.

Downtown San Mateo:

The downtown area of San Mateo is situated between 9th Avenue and Tilton and between El Camino Real and Delaware Avenue. This place is apt to open up a boutique, restaurant or a shop offering an array of services and products to meet the consumer’s needs.

Hillsdale Shopping Center:

Hillsdale Shopping Center is another retail destination that sees plenty of customers each day. It is a great place to sell services and products.

El Camino Real:

El Camino Real is a huge north-south boulevard which runs through numerous cities. The El Camino stretch in the San Mateo city includes several businesses. These businesses are just minutes away from Highways 101 and 92, and benefit from high visibility and easy access to numerous San Mateo Caltrain stops.
From restaurants to major retailers to financial institutions, El Camino meets the requirements of a range of businesses.

Requirements to open a business in San Mateo:

Any individual or entity that carries out business in San Mateo has to first obtain a business license, and make use of an occupancy permit. Businesses may also be subject to an annual fire inspection. A yearly charge may be levied depending on the kind of business. Apart from this, owners will be required to report all fixtures, equipment, supplies and leasehold enhancements held for business use.

Also, in case the party is conducting business as the following, it will have to file a bond with the Secretary of State's Office:
  • Credit services organization
  • Immigration consultant
  • Dance studio
  • Employment agency
  • Invention developer
  • Employment counseling service
  • Nurses registry
  • Job listing service
  • Auction company
Businesses with employees also have to prepare an Illness and injury Prevention Plan. California provides no-fee consultation to help employers with the prevention of unsafe working environment and workplace hazards.


There are several ways to finance a business in San Mateo.  Determining the correct financial path will depend on several factors such as the kind of business, financial readiness, and the like.  In some cases a small business loan will assist a startup to get an initial push, but in case that’s not working there are other choices to consider such as: grants, crowd funding, and investors.  

San Mateo is certainly one of the best places to establish any business.  It is also well connected with the assistance of a developed transportation system that ensures smooth business between cities. San Mateo is also the best place for business for people with disabilities as it offers the most sophisticated non-medical transportation vans. These vehicles can be utilized to travel from one city to another for meetings and picking up products or selling services.


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