The Bay Area is accustomed to rapid fluctuations in population, economics and overall growth. But the kind of business growth Oakland has seen over the past year is almost unprecedented in the area. As IPOs have raised rents in San Francisco and the Peninsula to astronomical levels, the number of people wanting to live and work in Oakland has surged — and at the same time, lots of local residents, seeing Oakland change, are working to move their businesses here, or to launch new businesses right in their own communities.

Whether you’re a long-time resident launching a new Oakland business or a new arrival who wants to live and work in the same city, we’re hoping this Getting Started Guide will save you some time. We’ve got deep links to permits, tips and advice on rental and co-working spaces, and resources galore. So give it a read and share your tips and comments back with us at (Note that we have a second series of how-to articles on finding spaces In Oakland that kick off here.)

Our Getting Started guide covers the permits you need working as a knowledge worker, service business, or tech company, what you need to operate as a food business, and ways to get started as a retail business, especially as part of a local incubator or collective.

Make sure you also see our How-To series on finding space for your business in Oakland — whether you want to be in a co-working space, an office, an executive suite, a commercial kitchen or retail space.

NEXT: Getting started: As an consultant, knowledge-worker, or small tech or services business in Oakland

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