How do I Start a Food Truck in Michigan

Posted by Damian Roberti on

What do I need to start a food truck in Michigan 

What Permits Do I Need to Open a Food Truck?


To sell food legally, you'll need food truck insurance as well as the necessary permits and licenses from your city and state. Because licenses might have different names, check with your county clerk or state business office to be sure you've covered all of your bases. Regardless of where you reside, the following are the most typically necessary food truck permissions and licenses:

1.License to Do Business

A business license, often known as a "vendor license" or "basic business operation license," permits you to run a business in the city and state of your choice. The government will recognize your activity as a real business and will be able to track it for tax purposes if you obtain the license.

A food truck business license might cost anywhere from $50 and $500, depending on your city's application fees and requirements. Make sure you're aware of your license's expiration date and how to renew it. Some jurisdictions will only issue a limited number of mobile food vendor permits, putting new vendors in a lottery, so apply as soon as you finish your food truck business plan. Visit your county clerk's website or the US Small Business Administration website to learn how to apply for a business license.

2. Employer Identification Number (EIN) (Employer Identification Number)

An Employer Identification Number, often known as an EIN or Social Security Number, is a federal tax identification number used to establish your firm with the Internal Revenue Service. It enables you to register a business bank account, establish a credit profile, and hire workers. This number is provided by some states along with your company license.

The IRS will provide you an Employer Identification Number for free if you apply online, by fax, or by mail. Because processing time might take up to four weeks, make sure you apply well ahead of time.

2. A valid driver's license

To operate a food truck, you'll need a valid state driver's license as well as registration for your truck, just like you would for a vehicle. Your basic driver's license will sufficient in most states. Other states, on the other hand, will consider the weight and length of your vehicle to decide if you need a commercial driver's license.

Depending on the state and license type, a driver's license can cost anywhere from \$10 to \$100. For further information on the criteria and application procedure for a driver's license, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

4. Permit to Work as a Food Handler

Those who finish food handler training and a food safety course are awarded a food handler's permit, sometimes known as a "food handler's license" or "food management certificate." Only the manager-on-shift is necessary to secure the permit in most states. If food is handled, prepared, cooked, or kept on the premises, other states require one or more employees to have a valid permit at all times. Customers will have piece of mind knowing that your food truck team is informed and skilled in hygienic and safe food handling techniques thanks to the permit. Having qualified managers also ensures that a health inspector knows that someone on staff is well-versed in food safety.

Permits for food handlers usually cost less than $50 and are good for around 5 years. Most, if not all, staff on a food truck are required to have their food handlers certificate, and the cards must be accessible to the public. To get a food handler's permit, go to the ServSafe website and get the study materials as well as find a testing location near you.

5. A permit from the Department of Health

The health department issues a permit, often known as a "food service license," indicating that your vehicle passed the health inspection. A health department agent will inspect your vehicle for health code violations and present you with comments on what has to be fixed, as well as an overall grade for your truck. 

Depending on the city, a health department permit might cost anywhere from $70 to $800. To request and schedule a visit from an inspector, contact your local health department by phone or email.