While you might think starting a food truck business will be easier and less of a hassle when compared to a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, in reality, several licenses and permits need to be acquired before you can officially open your business. Each state has rules and requirements that business owners must meet before making their foray into the industry, and Florida is no exception.
If this is your first venture into mobile foods, complying with state regulations is vital for setting yourself up for success. To help you avoid any problems and complications down the road, here are the licenses and permits you will need to have before you start your food truck business in Florida.
A Business License
The first license you should consider getting is a business license as you begin laying the groundwork to open your food truck. Essentially, it is a license to ensure your business remains compliant during the tax season. In Florida, cities and counties have different licenses and code requirements. Be sure to consider where you plan to primarily operate and get the requisite licenses for each jurisdiction as necessary.
Mobile Food Vendor Permit
After you get your business license, the next one you should work on acquiring is a mobile food vendor permit. This permit is necessary to begin selling from a mobile unit like a food truck or trailer to ensure compliance with local food safety and worker safety standards. To get one, you have to obtain a Commissary Letter of Agreement indicating that your food truck has access to an approved facility for servicing, sanitizing, and storing food. You must get this license within 14 days of your opening date.
Food Handler’s License
Also known as an employee health permit, the food handler’s license is required for food trucks to safely sell and serve food. Everyone working as part of your food truck business will have to have one, as it ensures they know how to keep your stations clean and safe from foodborne illness. Employees must acquire their food handler’s license within 30 days of being hired, which involves passing a food safety and preparation test.
Food Seller’s Permit
Every business that sells tangible goods in Florida must have a seller’s permit to charge sales tax, and food trucks are no different. Before you open your business, you have to acquire a food seller’s permit, or else you may run afoul of tax regulations as you start making sales.
Public Health Permit
To avoid this risk of being shut down, food truck owners must apply with the Florida Health and Safety Code by acquiring a public health permit, which you can do at your local public health department. As you file your application, be ready for an inspection of your facilities and review all of the state’s food safety requirements. Do be aware that if you plan to prepare meats and other food on your premises, the public health department will be more stringent with their inspection and requirements.
Serving alcohol on a food truck is not usually the best business plan to pursue, but you can do so if you wish. While you may not be able to get a full license, you can still get a temporary or short-term license if you want to sell liquor at an event or for a special occasion.
Fire Safety Inspection Certificate
Finally, to comply with local fire safety regulations, you need to undergo a fire safety inspection to receive a certificate from your local fire department. Every food truck in Florida must have this certificate to operate in the state.
Now that you have an idea about the Licenses and Permits required to run a food truck, the next step is to start thinking about building a truck that represents your brand. Sizemore Food Trucks offers quality builds in record turnaround times for those looking to enter the mobile foods industry. Contact us today to learn more about our services and previous builds or to get a quote!