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Business Assistance Programs


San Jose’s Office of Economic Development is committed to providing an integrated, solutions-based approach to business assistance that creates a foundation for entrepreneurs and companies to develop new ideas and foster economic opportunities for generations to come.


How We Help

Through comprehensive facilitation services, forward-thinking policies, and creative incentives, San Jose helps established and emerging companies grow and succeed.

  • Permitting Assistance
    We understand that clarity and speed through the permitting process is essential and we are ready to lend a hand. Click here for a step by step approach to opening a business in San Jose.
  • BusinessOwnerSpace (BOS)
    Established to be San Jose-Silicon Valley’s most accessible, comprehensive, and useful one-stop resource for launching and growing a business in San Jose’s metropolitan area, BOS has served over 80,000 entrepreneurs and businesses with their startup and growth needs and strategies..
  • Demonstration
    In 2008, the City created a framework for engaging in and evaluating demonstration partnerships with the aim of leveraging City facilities and real property for developing, testing and demonstrating the next wave of technological innovation arising from Silicon Valley. Click here to find out more.
  • Site Selection
    The Office of Economic Development provides self-guided as well specialized site selection services for companies looking to find the ideal space and site for their business.
  • Workforce Foundation (work2future)
    The local administrative arm of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA) operates One-Stop Centers that serve the areas of San Jose, Campbell, Morgan Hill, Los Altos Hills, Gilroy, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Monte Sereno, and the unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. Work2future collaborates with businesses, residents, government, educational and community-based organizations to maximize local and regional employment opportunities, and serves as the catalyst in the development and implementation of a comprehensive workforce strategy. Work2future provides a range of services to business including, customized training, on the job training, and training partnership opportunities.
  • Networking
    San Jose’s Office of Economic Development collaborates with companies from different industry sectors to foster innovation between companies to further business development and success. Please contact us to learn more.

We wanted remain in San Jose with its seamless access to talent, our established customer base and the resources we need to grow. The support we received from the City of San Jose was unparalleled. The city staff’s support in expediting permits and approval to meet our extremely aggressive timeline was invaluable. The Team at the Office of Economic Development went above and beyond at our launch with press support.

Nat Mani

President & CEO, Bestronics, San Jose

Business Assistance Programs

  • Business Cooperation Program
    The Business Cooperation Program provides businesses a rebate of up to 30% on the local portion of the state collected use tax subsequently remitted to the City as a result of the business entering the state’s Use Tax Direct Pay Permit program or allocating use tax attributed to acquisition of construction materials in San Jose. For more information, contact John Lang
  • Foreign Trade Zone
    Companies using San Jose’s Foreign Trade Zone are able to delay, reduce or eliminate customs duties on imported goods. Merchandise stored, manufactured or assembled within the zone area is considered to be international commerce. For more information, contact Joe Hedges
  • Industrial Development Bonds
    Through the California Enterprise Development Authority, San Jose offers the Industrial Development Bond program to manufacturers. Eligible manufacturers can use the low cost bond proceeds to finance virtually all costs incurred by the company for investment in either tangible or intangible products.
  • Downtown Commercial High Rise Incentive
    To encourage high-rise commercial development in the city, particularly in downtown, Council approved a temporary reduction in construction related taxes for a projects over 150 feet tall. For more information, contact Teri Killgore.
  • Construction Taxes suspension
    To foster tenant improvement and occupancy of Office and R&D space throughout San Jose, construction taxes on tenant improvements were reduced from 4.5% of valuation to 1%.

State Incentive Programs

  • California Competes Credit Program that allows businesses to compete for available tax credits based on number of jobs created/retained, the extent of poverty in a business development area, a minimum compensation limitation and a set job retention period. For more information, click here.
  • Sales Tax Exemption on Advanced Manufacturing Equipment on first $200 million of Manufacturing or R&D equipment purchases from State share of sales tax (4.19%) beginning July 1, 2014 until June 30, 2022. For more information, visit the State of California’s Board of Equalization website, or click here
  • New Employment Tax Credit is for businesses in census tracts with the 25% highest share of both unemployment and poverty in the State, or former Enterprise Zone areas that hire long-term unemployed workers, veterans within 12-months of separation from service, people receiving Federal earned income tax credit, ex-offenders and recipients of CalWorks or general assistance. Hiring Credit will only be allowed to taxpayers who have a net increase in jobs, will be 35% of additional wages between $12-$28/hour for 5-years. For more information, please visit the State of California’s Board of Equalization website, or click here.

Learn More

Small Business Support

Use Tax Incentive

International Programs

Hiring & Training Support

Foreign Trade Zone

Expedited Permitting