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9 Food Truck Licenses and Permits Your Business Might Need

legionfoodtrucks - April 18, 2024 - 0 comments

A food truck business can be a good investment. However, before hitting the streets, you need to acquire the appropriate licenses and permits. While some of these legal documents apply to every restaurant, others are truck vendor-specific.

Before starting your food truck business, it would be beneficial to familiarize yourself with the documents required for you to operate legally. This will help to prevent legal delays, establish credibility, avoid getting in trouble with the law, and save you from unwanted interruptions to operations. Here are some food truck licenses and permits your business might need.

Driver’s License

If you will be driving your food truck from place to place, you will need a valid driver’s license. Oftentimes, a standard driver’s license will be enough. However, depending on the size and weight of your truck, you may be required to apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

This document can cost you between $10 and $100 depending on your state and license type.  

Business License

Almost all states require businesses to have a license to operate. The license is a recognition that your business is legitimate and can be tracked for tax purposes. Typically, the fees for these licenses will vary depending on the location and business type. In addition, you will need to remember to renew your license when it expires.

Vehicle Registration

Just like with personal cars, your food truck must be properly registered with your state. While some food trucks will get standard registration, others have to follow special rules for a commercial vehicle depending on their size. Before applying, be sure to check with your state. Also, remember to renew your vehicle registration periodically.

Employer Identification Number

All businesses in the U.S. must have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) before they can start operating. This is technically not a license or permit. It is a federal tax identification number issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and is used to identify your business for tax purposes. EINs are free for businesses and can be applied for online through the IRS website.

Health Permit

Food truck businesses must ensure a safe working environment for employees and safe food for customers. As such, you need to comply with local health code regulations. Your local health department will conduct a health inspection to verify the relevant safety requirements. Once you pass the inspection, you will be issued health and safety permits.  

Food Service License

When you open a food business, the government has to ensure that the food you are selling will not endanger the safety of the public. A food service license is issued by the local city or county health department. The license demonstrates that your facility is up to code and meets the set regulations relating to food preparation, safety, and storage.

Seller’s Permit

Some states require a seller’s permit to help track sales tax. To stay on the right side of your state taxes, check with your state government to learn if you need to get this permit and how to apply for one. Generally, a seller’s permit has no fees and renewal depends on your state.

Food Truck Permit

Once you have created your business entity, your truck is set up and you are ready to operate, you will need to file for a food truck permit. This special permit demonstrates that you have fulfilled all the related requirements, have all the required licenses and permits, and have obtained liability insurance.

Fire Permit

Depending on your location, the fire department may need to inspect your food truck before issuing a fire permit. This is particularly necessary if you have gas lines and cooking equipment on your truck. To ensure fire safety, the fire department will check for proper installation and function of cooking equipment, inspect the electrical wiring, and ensure there is a fire suppression system in place.

Get Licensed To Operate With Help from Legion Food Trucks

Looking to start your own food truck business? At Legion Food Trucks, we build fully customized, state-of-the-art food trucks to enable you to serve customers on the go. In addition, we provide guidance and mentorship and remove the hassle of getting the relevant food truck licenses and permits from your local government. Contact us to get expert assistance in starting your food truck business.

Download Your FREE Food Truck Start Up Guide Here!

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