I'm going to go over 29 tax deductions for your food truck. And if you're a brand new to food, truck, entrepreneurship, these are definitely things you want to make a note of. And if you're just starting out, these might be a couple of things that you've never thought of, but you definitely want to bring them to your accountant. So really quick, disclaimer, I am not an accountant.
I'm not going to give you any tax advice, but I have been in the food industry, in the food business for a very long time, but these are definitely things you want to jot down, take them to your accountant and see if there's even more, or there's some of these that may apply to your food truck business.
So as we do with all of our videos, that this is the first video you've seen, definitely hit the subscribe button. My name is Damian Roberta. I am a food entrepreneur and have been for over a decade. Now I've been in the food industry for 30 plus years and I operate a online business with six of them, actually with my wife my wife, Sylvia, and I have been online for quite some time. So all of the videos that I bring to you on marketing funnel, mine are to help you get your package food product, get a food truck started, or even create an online food business, because that is the things that we have done quite often over the past few years, now let's jump right into it.
And one of the biggest investments you're going to make, whether it is a new truck or even a used truck, it does not matter.
You definitely want to bring that to attention to your accountant when you make your first purchase, of course, being the food truck.
Now, number two, if you've got a food truck that is a older version, or even potentially a new one, if you're retrofitting it, or if you're building it out with any additional equipment, keep in mind all of the purchasing of the equipment, the installation, which would be the labor involved with that.
And any electrical work that you may have, all of those are expenses, not only under the print set aside from the purchase of the vehicle itself, but when you start to retrofit it and build it out, keep track of all those expenses. That's also something you need to let your accountant be aware of.
Now, number three is going to be the LLC, the formation of the business, obviously the business aspect of it, any legalities, if you've actually used a lawyer to create your LLC, if you do it online. And of course down below this video, we've got a couple of really great clips.
You can definitely hit on those links and you can actually incorporate yourself. If you're looking to do that, you can do it online with like ink file or any of these Inc incorporate.com. These types of websites allow you to do it very quickly and easily. But any fees involved with that are definitely something that you can use as a tax deduction. Now, number four is going to be the vehicle licensing. So any licensee that you've got rather with a County or city, or even potentially with the state, keep track of any of those. FOOD TRUCK TAX BASICS
Now either you as the owner or any of your employees, if it's required by the County or city that they have either food handler's car or take a food safety course, any of those courses involved with that, definitely any expenses you got to definitely keep track of and give that to your accountant as well.
Those are expenses that involved obviously operating your business. Number six, the maintenance. Now, obviously that's a no brainer as you use a truck, especially if it's used. You want to make sure that you obviously maintain it throughout the year. Anything that goes on wrong, keep track of all of those other invoices or receipts for the maintenance of the vehicle.
And those are additional expenses that could be written off as well.
Number seven gas. Now, obviously that's also another no-brainer, but a lot of people may not realize that the gas itself, that you're going to an event, if you're traveling outside the state or around the County or city you live in, and you're going to an event, keep track of all of the gas you use.
That's another tax deduction as well. Number eight, small whalers. Smallwares sorry about that. Small wares are any of the plates and napkins or utensils, any of those things that you're using to serve the food on to the customer, keep in mind that that is also an expense for your business and a food food truck tax deduction is definitely something that would fall in line with any of those types of expenses, as where as well. Number nine, your health department permit.
So your local health, other city or County that would issue a health department permit. That is something that you can keep track of as well. That is also a tax deduction for your food truck. Number 10, if you use your food truck for catering and you actually go to meet with a potential client or any expenses incurred with that business transaction, those are also things that are tax deductible. Again, take this and jot it down, keep track of it and take it to your accountant and see how much of that actually can be deducted. Now it used to be that if you entertain a customer or you entertain a client, 50% of what you had could be actually deducted. Now I know that there's a new law that has been updated that a hundred percent. I believe it's until 2020 to a hundred percent of the use of that.
Either if it's lunch or if it's dinner, or if you're entertaining a client and trying to get them to sign a deal with you to have the catering, you can actually deduct a hundred percent of that as well. So number 11, your miles keep track of how many miles you travel.
Obviously, if it's from your commissary kitchen, where you have your food truck parked to the destination and back mileage is also something that could be potentially a great deduction because you're traveling everywhere because you're mobile, obviously. So that is something you definitely want to keep track of. Number 12, your event fees.
Now, when it comes to an event fee, what exactly is that if you go to a food truck event, normally they're either going to charge you a fee to get into the event, or they may say it's free, but they're going to charge you a percentage of your sales.
So if you do a certain amount of sales, there may be five, 10, 8%, whatever that may be, a lot of events are obviously different and they operate. Some of them simply just charge you a flat fee to get in, or a percentage of your sales. Now, those fees to obviously get to the event to run your business are another thing that you can also deduct as well.
So number 13, Facebook or social media advertising. So if you're doing any kind of social media advertising, if it's Facebook, if it's Instagram, if it's Twitter or even Pinterest or LinkedIn, wherever you're advertising your food truck, you definitely want to keep track of that because that's also an expense for your business. Now, number 14, signage, anything that you put out in front of your truck. I see this at a lot of truck, a truck events that we go to let a food truck rallies is that out front, you've got a menu board, you've got some other type of signage to get people's attention.
If you're spending money on those types of pieces of equipment, that's exactly what there are. There are pieces of equipment that are obviously used to drum up business and to get attention to your food truck, keep track of all of the signage that you're actually purchasing as well. So number 15, food truck insurance, food truck insurance could be worker's comp sensation. It could be food truck, general liability insurance.
It could be just your plain business insurance, but any insurances that your food truck is purchasing to operate your business as needed. You want to definitely make sure you get that down as a deduction as well. Number 16, permits. Now this could be permits that are state issued city issued, or even a County issued. Now, keep in mind when you have a food truck business, something that's unique about the mobile food truck industry is that as you go to different counties or cities, they may require you to actually have a permit of some kind within that particular city or County that you're operating in.
Is that the one that you're actually from and where you are either address, you've got your address for your commissary. That that's where it is in a different County or city. No, you go to any other County or city. You want to definitely keep track of any other additional permits and fees to actually operate a business there. And most of the time you're actually needed to do that. Okay? Number 17, a business license. So obviously in the city that you're in, you will need to get a licensed specifically for that city where you're at those business licenses are not the same as LLC formation or incorporating. These are actually just business licenses that you'll have to have in order for you to operate your business. Number 18 food truck, commissary, kitchen rental. So most places, most States and most counties or cities will require you to have a commissary kitchen where your food truck will be also known to be as preparing the food.
They're bringing it in the truck and then going to a certain event. Many times, they also require you to park and leave your truck overnight at that specific commissary or kitchen that is attached to your food truck business. Now this operate, this is a little bit different and operates in different cities and counties variations at different, different ways. But in essence, when you have a commissary kitchen on paper, you need to have that down. And that's going to be the area in which you will prepare your specific ingredients and food for the day. When you go to your different events, number 19 food truck overnight parking. Now this is similar to what I had just mentioned, but some places you've been charged a fee to have your truck parked there. So obviously you can't take it home. And most of the time you can not parking in the driveway to your neighborhood because that's normally not allowed because that's actually a residential area in a zone.
That way you can not operate a commercial food business from your home, that's totally different. So if you have a fee that's involved with parking overnight, keep track of those fees. Because again, that's something else that you can deduct as well. Number 20, this is really important. Your POS system, okay? Your point of sale system. So where are you actually going to do the transaction through a POS system? That would be the actual equipment. If it happens to be a card scanner or something that you can actually even actually adapt to your Android phone or your cell phones, and that would allow you to take payments. Now, the actual equipment is one expense. Keep in mind too. The next one is 21, the POS system, monthly fee. Now you normally have to sign up for a company to actually do the transactions. You can't just purchase the equipment.
You've got to obviously have a payment processor, do it. Now, there are some people that actually charge you a low a fee for the usage of it each month. And then some of them actually charge also a transaction fee. So many of these fees will begin to add up. You'd want to keep track of them because that is another one that's potentially tax deductible for your food truck. Number 22 website. If you're going to operate a website, you're going to have a monthly fee incurred with that. So if you have Damien's food, truck.com, obviously I'm going to have to pay for that website every single month. Keep track of all of those fees for that month. Now, if you're working on Shopify and you have a menu on Shopify or you're selling food on Shopify, what's really important too, is all of the apps that you bring on board to your website itself, keep track of those.
Like with our store, we have a couple stores through Shopify. We actually have apps that we pay for every single month. Now that increases our overall expenses every month. So definitely keep track of those. So it's not just the website, but anything else additional to it is also potentially tax deductible. Now this is a big one. Number 23. If you operate a separate office now at home, if you have a room that is an office dedicated to the food truck, you potentially can actually take advantage of even some of these home-based business tax deductions, where you have an office space dedicated to the food truck business. That means you have a laptop and you're running your laptop. You're ordering ingredients, you're operating the actual business aspects online in your office. You have the potential to write off some of your electric bill, write off some of your mortgage or rent, write off even some of your water and everything.
Any of there's, anything involved with operating your business from home office. Take a look at that and definitely ask your accountant about that. Number 24 fire extinguishers. Now this is kind of a silly little thing, but believe it or not, when you operate a fire a food truck, you have to make sure that you obviously pass a fire inspection. Most of them will require you to have a fire extinguisher. So any of those extinguishers, if it's a one or two or even three or four of them on your food truck, make sure you keep track of the expenses for those. And now if you maintain them or buy them every year to keep them fresh and new and working and operating, if they're either inspected or anything of that sort, definitely keep track of the expenses for them. Number 25, your phone and internet.
Now, obviously if you go to a food truck event, you need to have some type of apparatus that you've got the ability to transact your POS system. So phone and internet there, and also at home at your office, your home office is going to be operating with phone and internet. Believe it or not, some of that can actually be tax deductible towards your food truck business. Okay. So number 26, the food truck wrap. This is the out external, external exterior part of the food truck that gets people's attention. That's the big, bright colors that has the name of your food truck. It has a graphic, has it? Logo has a design. Any of that that's involved with the food truck wrap is also something that's potentially tax deductible as well. Number 27, your food costs keep track of all of the ingredients. If you're buying your fresh ingredients every day, obviously you want to maintain a good records, keeping of those items, receipts, or whatever it may be.
And as you build, you go to your commissary kitchen and as you're creating your ingredients for the day to go to your food, drug events, keep track of any and all food expenses. Okay. Number 28 is obviously the uniforms. This is one thing that everyone wants. If you're creating a brand and I've seen this and it's very, very cool. And it's something I highly recommend. You do spend the, a little extra money to have uniforms. So your team, your group of team on your food truck have in the reflect your brand on the shirt or the hat or whatever it may be that they're wearing, but any uniforms that you give your employees, tax deductible as well last but not least number 29, your fire certificate inspections. So sometimes obviously, well, not sometimes most all the time when you had your food truck, it's going to have to be inspected by the fire department.
Now, why don't you remember when I opened my time bakery, our physical brick and mortar bakery, and we had the food inspector fire inspector come in, make sure that the exits are correct, make sure there's fire, extinguishers and all that. And sometimes you may have to pay for those inspections and it just simply recuperates the cost for the fire department, come out and check and make sure everything's good. So if there's any cost incurred with your fire certificate inspection for your food truck, definitely keep track of that as well. So that is a quick rundown, not at all inclusive, but a handful of 29 different food truck tax deductions that could apply to your food truck business. As I mentioned in the introduction, if you have any more and we didn't have it, let us know down in the section of give us a comment. If there's something that I may have missed, but if you have any questions about this to let us know down below, we have a lot of people who subscribe to our channel, our subscribers, who are actually food, truck entrepreneurs, and definitely let us know. So I'll see you guys on our next video. I appreciate you watching.
Thanks for watching marketing food online. And if you are looking to create your own food truck, start a home-based food business under the cottage food law franchise, a food operation start a packaged food business, private label, your own food product, sell on Amazon, get your own online store or sell food online.
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