Starting a food truck business requires a competitive and appealing concept, a business and financial plan, a food truck design idea, and a solid marketing strategy. Most importantly, you need proper legal steps before serving food from your mobile kitchen. This ranges from taxes to permits and food safety standards before considering your food truck business official. So, what licenses and permits do you need to start a food truck business? Read on to find out.
Food Truck Permits and Licenses to Start a Food Truck
Like any business, food trucks require business licenses, commonly referred to as basic business operation licenses or vendor licenses. Having this permit allows you to operate within your city, county, and state. Besides, the government will recognize your business as legitimate and track your activities for tax purposes. Generally, a business license shows that your food truck is compliant with requirements; hence, it is crucial to check with local authorities regarding requirements and fees for business license applications before applying.
Employer Identification Number (EIN)
Also known as a Social Security Number, an Employer Identification Number (EIN) is a federal tax ID number that enables you to pay taxes to the Internal Revenue Service. It is a 9-digit number that allows authorities to identify your business quickly. Besides, an EIN will enable you to hire employees, mainly when expanding your food truck fleet. Although some states provide EIN along with business licenses, others require you to apply through the IRS website, mail, or fax.
Health Department Permit
This is one of the most common food truck permits issued by the health department. The health permit ensures your food truck is compliant with health requirements as well as equipment requirements for safety and sanitation standards. The cost of applying for a health department permit varies between cities and can range from $50 to $1,000.
Driver’s License and Registration
Because food trucks involve a mobile kitchen, you’ll need a driver’s license and a properly registered vehicle to operate. This allows you to drive a food truck, although your standard driver’s license may come in handy. However, some states may use vehicle weight and length to determine whether you require a commercial driver’s license or use your standard driver’s license. Yet, you can easily obtain your driver’s license and register the truck through your state’s system for transportation.
Food Handler’s Permit
All employees or food truck owners handling food for preparation and storage require food handler’s permits. The permit is often granted to people who have completed a course in food handling and safety before operating restaurants, including food trucks. Most states require employers to have a valid food handler’s permit, while others call for one or more employees to have the license. It is among the most critical food truck permits because it makes customers feel more comfortable buying food from your mobile kitchen.
Having a parking permit for your food truck allows you to park in specific locations or spots and sell food. This is because some streets might be off-limits or restricted to particular times of selling food from a food truck. Hence, consulting your local county clerk allows you to gain more insights into areas where you can park or need permission to operate your food truck business. You should note that parking permits vary between cities, counties, and states depending on requirements.
Licensing, Permitting, and Food Trucks All-in-One
Legion Food Trucks is more than a manufacturer. We are a true business partner who will set you up for success. This means helping you with licensing, permitting, and marketing in addition to providing a custom food truck. Visit our website to get started today!