Information for Small Businesses

Small businesses, or those interested in starting a small business may find the following links helpful:

  • Street Works Manual: The NYC Street Works Manual describes policies governing work on city streets, and presents procedures for notice, approval and execution of such work. These policies and the Manual's presentation of permit procedures are designed to deliver higher quality street surfaces, fewer transportation capacity reductions and a more efficient construction environment to the people and businesses of New York City.
  • What Types of Permits Can I Get? (pdf) - English, Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Italian, Korean, Polish, Russian, Spanish

  • Commercial Bike info: The city has laws and rules to help make commercial bicycling safer. Administrative Code of the City of New York §10-157 and §10-157.1 pertain to businesses that use bicycles for commercial purposes. Failure to comply with these laws and rules may result in a fine. Read more about commercial cyclist requirements here.
  • Street Seats: Street Seats is a citywide program where local partners apply to transform underused streets into vibrant, social public spaces during the warm weather months. Street Seats are installed in the roadbed along the curb line to create an attractive setting for eating, reading, working, meeting a friend or taking a rest. These can be a great resting spot, drawing people to sit down in front of a local shop or café.
  • CityBench: The CityBench program is an initiative to increase the amount of public seating on New York City’s streets. DOT installs attractive and durable benches around the city, particularly at bus stops, retail corridors, and in areas with high concentrations of senior citizens. These benches make streets more comfortable for transit riders and pedestrians, especially for those who are older and disabled. Anyone can request a bench, and anyone can use one. DOT encourages all New Yorkers to recommend locations for benches on the DOT right-of-way (not private property). If you know of a good location that meets the requirements below, please complete the web form below or print out a paper form and send in by mail.
  • Download the form

  • Revocable Consents: DOT grants permission to applicants to occupy or use space on, over or under the City streets and sidewalks, charging fees for these uses. If you intend to install a structure on, under or over a City street or sidewalk, you must petition (apply) for a revocable consent from the City. This page gives an overview of the revocable consent review process. DOT grants revocable consents only for certain types of improvements.
  • Sidewalk Maintenance and Repairs: DOT's goal is to make the City's 12,750 miles of sidewalks safe for pedestrians and help prevent injuries caused by defective sidewalks. DOT replaces more than 2 million square feet of sidewalk a year, mostly on City-owned property and in residential neighborhoods. Despite the large scale of repairs, this amounts to less than 1% of the City’s total sidewalk area each year. DOT relies on property owners to maintain the rest of the sidewalks.
  • Concessions: A concession is an agreement that allows a company to do business on City property. Examples include food courts on public plazas. Concessions are granted for a fixed number of years following a public bidding process. Concessions contracts may include outdoor food courts, cafés, pedestrian plazas, and vending machines. If you are interested in being on the DOT's concession solicitation list, please use this form to sign up (pdf). For more information, email concessions@dot.nyc.gov.
  • Franchises: A franchise is a contract between a company and the City. The company provides a public service. Examples are certain private bus routes and conduits for gas and electric utilities. Franchises generally require legislative approval and are granted for a limited term of years following a public bidding process.

Please visit nyc.gov/business to learn more about common business regulations and to access resources to assist your business.