Your dream of owning a custom food truck is about to become reality. As always, with reality come rules and regulations. While your food truck builder creates your vehicle, get a head start by researching these 6 documents to launch your food truck business:
1. Food Truck Business License
This is the first step when launching a business. Register your food truck with your state’s State Department as soon as you can. This will streamline your tax process and legitimize your business, both for the government and your customers.
2. Your Federal and State Tax ID Number(s)
Few government agencies are as feared as the IRS. Fortunately for small business owners, they make registration quite easy. Apply for an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you will use on all tax returns. Your state may also need you to register your business with the state you operate in. Check with your state’s Department of Revenue or Taxation to find out what they require. Stay ready for tax season, and you won’t have to get ready for tax season.
3. Health Department Permit for Your Food Truck
This process usually starts with your food truck manufacturer when they submit plans to your local health department for approval. Once the food truck is completed, or if you bought a used food truck, contact your local health department to schedule an inspection of your vehicle. They will inspect the cleanliness, storage, and equipment in your kitchen to make sure you meet hundreds of code requirements. Once you pass, they will issue you a permit to operate. Display this permit prominently on your truck. They are normally good for a year before they need to be renewed.
4. Food Truck Insurance
Not all governments require it, but you need commercial general and automobile liability insurance for peace of mind. Automobile liability covers you if you have an accident on the way to an event. General liability covers you once you’re parked and serving. Insurance is great to have and not need, rather than need and not have.
5. Driver’s License
This should be obvious if you plan to drive your business to vending and catering locations. A standard Class C driver’s license will cover most trucks up to 26,000 pounds. If you have a giant food truck or are towing a large trailer, you may need a Class B or Class A commercial driver’s license. Check your state’s requirements for commercial trailers.
6. State by State Requirements for Your Food Truck
Each state has a unique approach to mobile food vending. For example, some states like Rhode Island require a separate mobile vending permit. Others required documents may include proof of fire inspection, food handler’s permit, parking permit, or commissary letter of agreement. Consult your Secretary of State’s office or local food truck health department for a complete list of requirements before you take your food truck public.
With these documents in hand, you can start focusing on what you love most: feeding people. Are you ready to start your mobile business? Call Firefly today at (323) 524-0078 and get your custom food truck or food trailer shipped to you in as little as 12 weeks.