As you might expect, at Masshole Lobster Truck we truly share your enthusiasm for food truck ownership, and we call it like we see it. So, can we just be honest? How to get a business license for a food truck was 100% not your first thought when you started taking steps towards opening your rolling restaurant. It just wasn’t. If it was, then kudos to you.
Admittedly, the thought of cooking and serving quality food for hungry, appreciative food truck fans is much more rewarding than the part where you trudge through pre-opening day administrative lists. However, following through on
the details and steps outlined in your business plan (you have written that, right?) will prove rewarding as you watch your very first food truck customer enjoy your amazing cuisine.
And, just imagine all the other skills you’re about to learn! Our team at Masshole Lobster Truck would like to encourage you to enjoy the entire process! Now, about that license.
Is a Food Truck Business License the Only License I’ll Need?
That’s an absolutely timely and fantastic question! We can see the wheels in your head turning now. In addition to wondering “do you need a business license for a food truck” (the answer is “yes”), in your eagerness to fire up that stove top you’re already on to the follow up questions:
How do I get a business license for a food truck?
How much is a business license for a food truck?
What’s the difference between a license and a permit?
What if I operate my food truck business in Kansas City, will I be able to do business on the Kansas and Missouri sides of the city using the same license? (at least one person is asking that question, we just know it!) What if I park right on the state line? Ok, we’ll stop.
All great questions that you’ll find have some fairly straightforward yet important answers!
First, What is a Food Truck Business License?
May as well start with the basics. Ownership of a business license, a food truck business license in this case, is required for you to operate a business in your city and state of choice. Sometimes the license, depending on where you live, will be referred to as a “vendor license” or “basic business operation license.”
Once you purchase a food truck business license, the government recognizes your food truck operation as a legitimate business and is also able to track your business for tax purposes.
How Much Does a Food Truck Business License Cost?
Most small businesses will require a combination of licenses and permits. The requirements for your food truck business, and associated fees, differ based on your business activities, location, and government rules.
Depending on what part of the country you choose to start your food truck business, the cost of a food truck business license will vary. Your license may cost anywhere from $50 to $500. In some states, costs will vary depending on your projected / actual monthly revenue.
I’m Not Sure How to Get a Food Truck Business License.
As if you didn’t realize this, the internet is an amazing tool for an aspiring food truck chef. Not only can it assist you as you search for events, businesses and parking lots to offer your culinary creations, but before that it will help you find out how to acquire a business license for a food truck.
Search your county clerk’s website or your state’s website and “business license” and the internet will guide you directly to where you need to go.
Another good place to start is to visit the Small Business Administration’s website here
What Other Information Will I Need Related to my Food Truck Business License?
Here are a few other items you’ll need as you purchase your business license.
You will need an Employer Identification Number (EIN). They are issued by the IRS. You can apply for your EIN here.
Some cities require a food truck permit. A simple search of “food truck permit” plus the city you will do business in should take you to an online resource.
Don’t overlook the fact that you’ll need a valid driver’s license and depending on where you live and depending on the size of your truck, you may be required to hold a commercial driver’s license.
Most cities will require all employees of a food truck to have a food handler’s license or certificate. They can be obtained through an inexpensive ServSafe course. For more information go to ServSafe.
A health department permit, sometimes called a “food service license”, is issued by the health department and indicates that your food truck passed the health inspection.
All of this sounds like a lot for a chef, doesn’t it? As we said, at Masshole Lobster Truck we call it like we see it, so yes, if we’re being 100% honest, a lot of work goes into positioning your food truck business as one of your area’s premier go-to food trucks.
Here’s some good news. We do this every day, and our food truck franchise is here waiting to guide you. True, there’s much to do, starting with securing your food truck business license. Be confident that our value is not only in our authentic lobster rolls. It starts with preparing you for the steps you’ll take to open your business. As we said before, enjoy the process. This is what you’ve been wanting to do your whole life!
Contact us today if we can answer any questions about a business license for a food truck, just how much butter should be offered with a lobster or what it’s really like to work in a food truck on the border of Kansas and Missouri!