Signs of Excellence

The success of the City of San Diego's activities to be business friendly can be found in the results. These are just some of the achievements that can be attributed to San Diego's efforts to do business in a business friendly way.


  • One-third of all San Diego businesses are owned by women.
  • The City has the highest concentration of people working in home based businesses (9.4 percent).
  • San Diego boasts the highest percentage of college graduates in California and one of the highest in the nation. One in three San Diego adults have a college degree compared with a national average of 15 percent.

International Trade

  • San Diego received World Trade Center status in 1994.
  • San Diego is ideally located to take advantage of the North American Free Trade Agreement.
  • The volume of foreign trade in San Diego has increased by more than 17 percent annually since 1983, double the national rate.

High Tech and Biotech

  • San Diego has more than 200,000 miles of fiber-optic cable in place, more than any other county in the nation.
  • Ten percent of all publicly-traded biotech companies and 8 percent of all U.S. biotech firms call San Diego home.

Permits and Taxes

  • One of the most competitive sales tax rates in California (8.75 percent).
  • Business tax rate is lower than any of the 20 largest U.S. cities.
  • The lowest transient occupancy (hotel and motel) tax.
  • Lowest bonded indebtedness rate.
  • Lowest real estate transfer tax in California.
  • No city income taxes.
  • No utility taxes on citizens.
  • City's streamlining efforts have increased productivity and customer service.