Accessible Business Entrance Program


60-Day Reminder Notices
Sent to Property Owners

(Chinese) (Spanish) (Tagalog)

ABE 3 Month Notice


Notice of Compliance Changes 
Effective June 1, 2018

(Chinese) (Spanish) (Tagalog)

For Property Owners & Tenants
For Design Professionals & CASp
Learn about Finance Options
Frequently Asked Questions

Forms and Guidelines:
Information Sheet DA-17
Pre-Sreening Form (Chinese) (Spanish)
Category Checklist Compliance Form (Chinese) (Spanish)
Waiver Form
Technical Specifications Guidelines (Chinese) (Spanish)
Amended Ordinance 102-18
Information Sheet DA-20: Building Permit for the ABE Program


DBI Accessible Business Entrance Program
1660 Mission Street, 1st Floor
Visit Window #8

Planning Department

For information regarding alterations to commercial
storefronts, including those over fifty years old, please consult SF Planning’s Checklist to Alterations to Commercial Storefront for Accessibility.

For more information, please contact Preservation Planner Michelle Langlie at or 415-575-8765.

Sign up here to receive email notifications and updates about the Accessible Business Entrance Program.

The Accessible Business Entrance (ABE) program helps property owners comply with state and federal accessibility laws and helps people with disabilities gain greater access to goods and services offered by businesses in San Francisco. Passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 2016 (Ordinance No. 51-16), the ordinance requires that existing buildings with a place of “public accommodation” have all primary entrances accessible for people with disabilities. If your business serves the public, this program may apply to you. 

How to Comply with the Ordinance 


Determine if the building is subject to the program or exempt. If the building is exempt, complete the Pre-Screening Form.


If not exempt, complete a Category Checklist Compliance Form. Buildings are categorized I-IV based on their level accessibility. You need to obtain the services of a California licensed design professional (Architect or Engineer), or Certified Access Specialist (CASp).


If you have a Category I building, a California licensed design professional (Architect or Engineer) or Certified Access Specialist (CASp) is required to complete the Category Checklist Compliance Form and submit to the Department. 

If you have a Category II, III or IV building, your design professional will provide workscope and an estimated cost for compliance. Your design professional will complete the Category Checklist Compliance Form, describing a proposal for work to be performed, and submit the form by the due date.


Obtain any necessary permits, perform the work, and obtain a final inspection to receive a Certificate of Final Completion. 


Buildings fall into one of four categories ranging from fully accessible to major barriers to entry. 

Category I        Building is in compliance (entrance has no steps and is compliant with the requirements of the ordinance).

Category II       Building entrance has no steps, but there are barriers such as non-compliant door handles, an entrance that is too steep, doors that are too narrow, etc.

Category III      Building entrance has one step.

Category IV      Building entrance with more than one step and/or other major barriers to the entry.



Newly constructed buildings with permit application (Form #1/2) dated on or after January 1, 2002 do not need to comply with this Ordinance. Religious organizations, private clubs, and facilities which are not a place of public accommodations may also be exempt.

If you are uncertain whether you are a “Public Accommodation” or if you are exempt, please complete the Pre-Screening Form prior to hiring a design professional or Certified Access Specialist (CASp).

COMPLIANCE SCHEDULE - Amended Compliance Categories & Timeline (Effective June 1, 2018)



Submit compliance checklist and specify compliance option

File application for required building permit(s)

Obtain required building permit(s)

Category I

In Compliance

January 1, 2019



Category II

No Steps but barriers

January 1, 2019

April 1, 2019

April 1, 2020

Category III

One Step with other barriers

June 1, 2019

September 1, 2019

September 1, 2020

Category IV

1+ Steps with
other barriers

December 1, 2019

March 1, 2020

March 1, 2021



House Key

For Property Owners and Tenants


For Design Professionals
and CASp


Finance Options



Question Mark

Frequently Asked Questions