How to get a Food Vendor License

The food industry survives sales. To sell more, chefs, farmers and other vendors offer to take their products to the streets, selling their food outside mobile kiosks and stalls. Doing so requires having a seller’s license. With this license, you can sell prepared food at local fairs, participate in farm markets or sell hot food in popular areas. While the requirements to obtain the license vary slightly between states, many areas have a similar application process.

Items you will need

  1. Kitchen
  2. Mobile food cart or kiosk
  3. License payment
  • Get a kitchen location. Many states require that you have a permanent location to prepare food. You will use this location as your primary address in your application. You can rent a space to build your kitchen or rent a space inside an existing restaurant.
  • Obtain a food vendor license application from your local health department. You can visit the health department in person to get an application.
  • Fill out the food vendor license application. You will need the name of your establishment, an address for a permanent kitchen and the personal information of the owner.
  • Submit the requested application and fee to the health department at the address shown in the application. The fees vary by zone.
  • Perform health inspection for your kitchen. If you built it, a health inspector will conduct an inspection of the area before approving your request. If you rent a space in an existing restaurant, you can work under your license.
  • Perform the health inspection for your kiosk or mobile food cart. A health inspector will review the main items such as food warming and cooling, clean utensils and adequate storage to verify that your premises comply with health and safety codes.
  • Reapply for your food vendor license as needed. This license may automatically expire in some areas.