Food Truck Permits & Licenses

What Food Truck Permits & Licenses do you need to start your business?

There’s a lot of paperwork when starting any business.  The permit requirements for Mobile Food Vendors vary from city to city, county to county, and state to state. Here are some of the key permits you’ll typically need:

  1. Health Permit – Usually issued county by county. There generally is no reciprocity between counties. Some counties may issue one day “event” permits, but again this varies by county.  However most Health Permits are issued yearly.
  2. City Vendor Permit – These are issued city by city, and typically cost around $75 to $250 per city, per year.  Some cities require “live scan” finger printing as part of the application (which is an additional fee of around $20 – $30).  Generally as part of the permit application you will need to priovide the city with copies of the vehicle’s current and valid registration, auto insurance, and health permit. License Descriptions
  3. Food Handler’s Permits:  Anyone handling food on the food truck must posses a current and valid “food handler’s permit”. Often, there must also be one Food Handler’s Permit held by at least one manager of the truck.  In California, you can obtain these permits from ServSafe.
  4. Insurance: Auto insurance is required for the food truck. Additionally, you may want to obtain General Liability coverage, and you must have Worker’s Compensation Insurance if you have employees.  These are the three main coverage that at a minimum you should carry.  There are additional policies, described in a bit more detail HERE.