How do I form a BID?

Follow these 10 Steps to Form a Business Improvement District

  • Interested parties within the business area conduct outreach to determine interest among all of the businesses. Obtain seed grant from respective City Council District, if possible, for the formation process.
  • Determine BID boundaries, fee structure and objectives.
  • Conduct a petition drive to register support of at least 20% of businesses within the boundaries chosen.
  • Present petitions drive results to the City of San Diego.
  • City conducts mailed ballot procedure to all businesses within the proposed BID. Ballots are collected and counted by the City Clerk with help from the Office of Small Business. Ballots are weighed on assessed value rather than number of businesses in the district. To go forward with the BID process, the ballots in favor must represent at least 50% of the value of proposed BID assessments of those businesses that respond to the ballot.
  • If ballot procedure is successful, results are forwarded to the City’s Small Business Advisory Board and the Business Improvement District Council for review and “blessing.”
  • The proposal for BID creation is then forwarded to the City’s Rules Committee (made up of the Mayor and several Council members) for review and recommendation to proceed to the full City Council.
  • The BID issue is then docketed for a City Council meeting. At that meeting, the City Council public declares a resolution of intention to establish a new BID. As part of the resolution, notice is given for a meeting and a public hearing so that both sides of the issue have ample time to present their cases.
  • At the public meeting, the City Council invites testimony from proponents and opponents and discusses the proposed BID formation.
  • At the second meeting (a public hearing), the City Council will again hear testimony from the public. If the meeting and hearing go well and the City Council is in support, they vote to introduce and adopt the proposed ordinance for the creation of the new BID. As a formality, there is a second reading of the ordinance to create the new BID within a minimum of two weeks. The BID will actually take effect approximately one month after this second reading of the ordinance.

I have a question about my assessments and/or services. Who should I call?

For questions related to your specific BID, you should contact the nonprofit management corporation responsible for the administration of your association. Visit our Do I Belong to a Bid?page to determine who to contact in your neighborhood.

I was assessed a fee for being inside a BID, but I don’t think I am in a BID. How can I find out whether or not I am in a BID?

You can visit our Do I belong to a BID? section to find out if you are in a BID.

How much is the assessment fee for my BID?

Each BID is self assessed, so the amounts vary. For the exact assessment for your BID, you will need to contact them directly.

I want to get a business license, who do I call?

Business license information can be obtained by calling Office of City Treasurer, Business Tax Program at (619) 615-1500. They are available 8-5 Mon-Fri.