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Free Sample Merchandise


What is considered Free Sample Merchandise? 

A Free Sample Merchandise (FSM) Permit is the distribution of free sample goods for the purpose of promoting any merchandise, commodity, property, trade, business, service, art or skill, on any street, sidewalk or public right-of-way in the City and County of San Francisco. SF Public Works will evaluate the application as it relates to Article 5.5 of the Public Works Code.  

Please note that for FSM that include distribution of food, drink, or any other consumable items, the monitoring and issuance of permits for consumable items is regulated by the Department of Public Health (DPH) and will require a separate permit. 

This permit does not include the occupancy of the right of way with street furniture; including, but not limited to the following items: 

  • Tables 

  • Canopies/Tents 

  • Wagons 

  • Carts, whether mobile or stationary 

  • Pushcarts 


It may be possible to apply for a Temporary Occupancy Permit for the use of these items in conjunction with the Free Sample Merchandise permit. 


Permit Information and Procedure 

  • All applicants must complete an Application to Distribute Free Sample Merchandise 

  • The Permittee shall post a $500 performance bond to ensure that public property is restored and cleaned of litter 

  • Payment of in the form of Credit Card/Check/Cash (Fee Schedule



For More Information

For more information or clarification on any of the permit requirements, please contact us at:

San Francisco Public Works • Bureau of Street-Use & Mapping 
1155 Market Street, 3rd Floor • San Francisco, CA 94103 • Map
Telephone : (415) 554-5810   Fax: (415) 554-6161
Office Hours : 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday, except official holidays

Note: all cash and check transactions must be submitted before 4:00 p.m.