How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida




Marketing Food Online participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.


How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida


 Licenses and Permits Required for Eating Establishments in the State of Florida
Licenses and Permits Required for Eating Establishments in the State of Florida
Everything you need to know to get your driver's license in the state of Florida

What are the steps involved in obtaining a license to operate a restaurant in Florida?

Or, are you interested in learning how to secure a license for your food truck in the state of Florida? How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

In the following paragraphs, I will discuss all of the licenses that are need for beginning a business in Florida, whether it be a food truck or a restaurant. I'll also provide you with an estimate of the overall cost that you might anticipate incurring to obtain your driver's license. So let's get started!


Here are 10 websites that can help you start a food business in Florida:

  1. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
  2. Florida Small Business Development Center:
  3. Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association:
  4. City of Miami Business:
  5. City of Orlando Business:
  6. City of Tampa Business:
  7. My Florida Licenses:
  8. Florida Chamber of Commerce:
  9. Florida SBDC Network:
  10. US Small Business Administration:


Florida is known as the Sunshine State because it receives a lot of sunshine and has a lot of attractions that bring in a lot of tourists. Aspiring businesspeople might want to think about opening a food truck in Florida, which is full with places where mobile food trucks and sellers set up shop almost everywhere. Restaurants run the gamut from establishments specializing in regional cuisines to those awarded Michelin stars.
It is not very difficult to acquire a food service license in Florida as well as a Florida yearly food permit; the real question is whether or not you will have the financial resources necessary to launch a restaurant.



How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

Both restaurants and mobile food vendors are required to have valid permits.

There are some standard licenses that are required in Florida for obtaining a license to operate a restaurant, food truck, or catering business. Obtaining a license for your food business in Florida can vary depending on the type of food operation you are running. The procedure is very similar to the one described in our post about the licensing and permits required in California. To begin, you will need to submit an application to the government in order to obtain an Employer Identification Number, sometimes known as an EIN. Registration does not cost anything, and the process grants you the legal authorization to withhold cash for taxes and to make estimated tax payments for your personal income tax return. You can submit an application for an EIN on the IRS website.

Any business that produces, packs, holds, processes, or prepares food, or that sells food at wholesale or retail in the state of Florida is required to obtain an annual food permit from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DOACS). How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

If you process and sell food in the state of Florida, you are required to register with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, sometimes known as DOACS. This applies to every business that produces, packs, processes, stores, or prepares food in any capacity. You can sign up by going to The amount of money you have to pay each year for your food permit in the state of Florida can change depending on the kind of food business you run. On the website, you will find a listing of the various fees. The process of obtaining a license for a new business takes around one month and requires that the business first pass a safety check.



Registration with the state as well as the local municipality or county
u are required to register with the state. The state of Florida does not have a seller's permit in the traditional sense; nevertheless, you can get one by registering on You can find additional information about prospective taxes, including other taxes that might be imposed, such as those for amusement machines in your restaurant, by visiting This website also contains information about other taxes that might be imposed.

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

In order to run a restaurant, food truck, mobile food cart, or receive a catering license in the state of Florida, you are going to require a business license for the area in which you will conduct your business. In Florida, what kinds of permits are essential to have before opening a restaurant? The licensing of businesses over the entirety of the state is managed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, sometimes known as the DBPR.
How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

What is the cost of a DBPR license in the state of Florida? The prices are different for each type of restaurant and each number of seats in the establishment. You can submit your application by visiting

When applying for a new seating establishment license in the state of Florida, the law mandates that you produce a floor plan. Before continuing with the license process, the plan has to be given the green light. You can apply by downloading the application form. At the time that this article was written, applications submitted online were not being accepted; nevertheless, this situation may rapidly evolve as restaurants prepare themselves for maximum capacity.


How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

Putting in an Application for a Made-Up Company Name

In order to operate a restaurant or food truck under a name that is not your legal name in the state of Florida, you are required to submit an application. You can file at Names like "Good Eats" or "Jerry's Gator Gumbo" are examples of fictitious business names. The name of your company may be one of these. In order for Florida courts to acknowledge you as the person who does business under the fake name, you will first need to obtain permission to use the name.

You are required to make at least one announcement about your intention to use the name in a local newspaper, and you must prove that you have done so while applying for the name. The registration is valid for a period of five years, with the final day of validity falling on December 31 of the fifth year. The initial registration fee is $50, and additional fees of $10 for a Certificate of Status and $30 for a Certified Copy of the Registration are added on top of that.

If you are a registered corporation or if you choose to use your legal name, such as "Chuck Anderson's Tacos," you are exempt from the requirement to register a fake business name for your company.

Food trucks are subject to a slew of unique license prerequisites, all of which are covered in greater depth under the "food truck only" part of this guide. In the section that is dedicated specifically to restaurants, we cover the many county and municipal government requirements that must be met in order to obtain special permits for certain restaurant functions.

Food Safety Laws and Regulations in Florida
In Florida, there are three primary agencies responsible for regulating food safety:
The Department of Health and Human Services
This agency is responsible for regulating businesses and professionals (DBPR)
Agricultural and Consumer Services Department of the Department of Agriculture
You are required to obtain your food permit from the Department of Health and obtain food handling permits for yourself and any employees. The majority of the regulations for business licensing of restaurants and food trucks are handled by the DBPR. However, food permits must be obtained from the Department of Health.


On the

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

website, you will discover more information about the requirements imposed by the health department. To obtain a health permit for your food truck or restaurant, you will need to have the establishment inspected for problems related to food safety and pay a charge.

In the state of Florida, every single restaurant and food truck is required to have a Certified Food Manager on duty throughout the entirety of their business hours. Additionally, other employees are need to hold a food handler's permit in order to work there. Catering businesses are required to get these licences as well. You can learn more about Certified Food Managers and Food handler's permits by visiting the website for Florida Health, which can be found online.

Only restaurants are required to obtain particular permits.

When they are allowed to sell alcoholic beverages, restaurants can bring in a significant amount of additional revenue. In the state of Florida, obtaining a license is an essential component of the majority of restaurant business plans. To give one example, you will require a license such as the "4COP." In the state of Florida, what exactly is a 4COP license? You need this license in order to sell alcoholic beverages, wines, beers, and combination deals to customers. (More on that in the ensuing paragraphs) How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

Making an Application for a License to Sell Alcoholic Beverages

On the website, you will find the application for an alcoholic beverage license. Obtaining a license can be accomplished by a variety of means, some of which are as follows:

4COP-SRX Liquor License You will need these permits in order to sell alcoholic beverages, beer, and wine on the premises. You are need to fulfill various requirements, one of which is to operate a legitimate eatery. To qualify, an establishment must have a floor space of at least 2,500 to 5,000 square feet and a permanent cover; however, this requirement can vary from county to county. You must generate at least 51% of your revenue from sales of food and beverages that do not contain alcohol. A good illustration of this is Broward County, which mandates a minimum of 2,000 square feet in floor space and 150 seats. There, a 4COP-SRX license will set you back \$1,500 in total cost. [1]

4COP-QUOTA Liquor License These permits are made available through a lottery or quota system, and they are given to establishments like nightclubs, bars, and taverns that do not fulfill the criterion for serving food. These are restricted based on the population of the county, which means that counties receive one additional license for every 7,500 residents that they have. The lottery for the license is held once a year, beginning on the third Monday of August and continuing for the subsequent 45 days. It is feasible to purchase a quota license on the open market from an existing license holder; but, in order to locate and complete the transaction, you will most likely require the assistance of a broker. Because of the intense level of competition in various situations, the expenses may skyrocket to an extremely high level.




How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

2COP Liquor License The 2COP Liquor License does not really permit any sales of alcoholic beverages; rather, it only allows for the consumption of wine and beer on the premises. There are no limits placed on the number of licenses that can be issued by individual counties. If the local county permits it, the license also authorizes the sale of bottled alcohol in sealed containers to be taken off the premises for consumption. In the county of Broward in South Florida, the price of a 2COP license is $392.

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

2APS Liquor License Convenience stores are the most common businesses that make use of these to conduct off-premises sales of beer and wine.

Specific Demands Made by Individual Counties

Each county in Florida has its own set of rules to follow in order to obtain a restaurant permit, and some of those rules could apply to your establishment. These may comprise a wide variety of prerequisites as well as permits that are necessary for your brand-new eatery. These may include the following:

a copy of the occupant's certificate
Obtaining licenses for coin-operated machines
Permits to post signs
Permission from the health department
Flammable materials permit
Certificate of Occupancy

In order to obtain your Certificate of Occupancy, you will need to examine the regulations that are imposed by your local county. Depending on whether you're using a corporate name or a fictitious company name, you'll need to register your firm in Miami with either the Department of State or the Florida Division of Corporations. This is required. You also require other documentation, such as floor drawings, for this transaction. 

Coin-operated Machine Licenses
You are required to register at if you operate any form of coin machine, including video games, in the state of Florida.

Sign Permits
How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida
In the same manner as Texas, each municipality is responsible for establishing its own ordinances regarding signs. Make sure you check with your municipality or county, Orange County, Florida is a wonderful example because residents are required to submit a PDF file online that contains the specifications of their planned sign. [3]

Flammable Materials Permit

If you store any goods that could catch fire, you are required by law to obtain a permission from the fire department in your area. For example, the city of Orlando requires licenses for the storage of goods that could be toxic or flammable. [4]

Food Establishments in the State of Florida That Do Not Require a Permit reports that home cooks in the state of Florida are permitted to sell some things that they have prepared even if they do not have a restaurant license. People can make and sell a variety of sweet and savory delicacies from the comfort of their own homes, such as cookies, bread, cakes, pasta, candies, flavored popcorns, and flavored vinegars. There is a yearly cap of $15,000 placed on the company's gross sales.

Only food trucks are eligible for these special permits.

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

Your application for a Florida food permit is not the only licensing required for operating a food truck or mobile vendor business in the state. To be able to sell food from a mobile cart or food truck, vendors need to obtain both a standard business license and a permit designated for mobile food establishments.

It is also important to note that you do not need to obtain any food permits in order to sell vegetables, fruits, or legumes at a farmer's market, roadside stand, mobile truck or cart, or similar location. However, you will need a license to operate your firm. To be able to collect sales tax and make payments toward your state and federal taxes, you are required to register with both the state and the federal government.

In the state of Florida, is it legal for food trucks to offer alcohol?

Unless they get a specific permit from the city to do so for events like festivals and other celebrations, mobile food vendors are not permitted to offer alcoholic beverages.

There are a few legal loopholes that can be exploited in order to sell alcoholic beverages from food trucks. Festivals, events including food, and other similar occasions all qualify for a temporary license that can be obtained from the city. Your chances of being accepted into many festivals spread out over the course of the year will improve significantly if you maintain positive working relationships with members of the government.

Selling food alongside alcoholic beverages is an additional business model that can be considered. You are able to deliver food to patrons at the bar; however, you are unable to transport alcoholic beverages to the food truck. Collaborating with a local craft brewery is the third possibility. Food truck nights featuring a variety of cuisine are frequently hosted by breweries.

Certificate of Compliance with Fire Safety Inspection

Aspiring business owners in Florida are required to obtain a fire safety inspection certificate from their community's fire department before beginning operations with a food truck. You will not be permitted to run a food truck if the inspection has not been completed.

Inspections of Florida's Healthcare Facilities

Before you can be granted a health permit to operate your food truck, your food truck will need to be inspected and found to be in compliance with food safety and sanitation standards. The regional health department will do routine checks on your vehicle to ensure that it complies with all of the quality and safety criteria pertaining to food products.

How to Obtain Your Permit to Operate as a Mobile Food Vendor

The procedure for obtaining a license consists of three stages. The first thing you need to do is go to and look over the regulations and standards there.

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida

The next thing you need to do is get a letter of agreement from the commissary. Food trucks are required to have access to a facility that has been certified for the purpose of servicing the food truck, sanitizing it, storing food, and other similar activities. The establishment can be anything from a restaurant to a commissary to a catering kitchen, but its sole function will be to provide food services to a number of different vendors.

The final step is submitting a Food Establishment Inspection Application. Within the first 14 days after your opening date, you are required to have the commissary inspected and get a food licence.

Obtaining Authorization for Service for Your Vehicle

It is required that food safety and cleanliness be checked out on your vehicle. In order to move on to the next stage of the approval process, you will need to provide an explanation as to whether or not your food truck is brand new, has been remodeled, or has reopened after having been closed.

You will be required to submit digital blueprints of the interior layout of your food truck, including the cooking and refrigerated facilities. In order to get your vehicle certified, the scaled drawings are an absolute must. You will be notified after the plans have been approved and an in-person inspection has been scheduled after the plans have been submitted by you.

The sum of all fees associated with obtaining licenses and permits
The total cost of opening a restaurant in Florida is comprised of license and permit fees, legal documents such as incorporation papers, inspection fees, and special permits that aren't covered here for things like outdoor seating, live music permits, and other optional restaurant services. The total cost of opening a restaurant in Florida is estimated to be between $15,000 and $25,000.

How much does it cost to receive a license to operate a restaurant in the state of Florida?

The initial investment required to open a restaurant in Florida can range anywhere from approximately $10,000 to several million dollars. Obviously, the latter estimate takes into account the furniture, appliances, and possibly even the building itself. The more conservative estimate takes into account only the acquisition of the necessary fundamental permits and either a 4COP or 2COP Liquor License. On the open market, purchasing a liquor license might cost hundreds of thousands of dollars; however, this typically does not apply to reputable restaurants that are able to meet the criterion of having 51% of their revenues come from food.

The price of a restaurant license in Florida is anywhere from $2,000 to $6,000 USD on average, with an additional liquor license costing around $400 for beer and wine. A 4COP Liquor License adds around $3,000. Keep in mind that restocking the inventory for the provision of alcoholic beverages may be quite an expensive endeavor depending on the breadth of your selection of beers, wines, and other types of spirits.

How much does it cost to receive a license to operate a food truck in the state of Florida?

When it comes to licensing, permits, inspections, and other legal documentation, the projected cost of starting a food truck in Florida ranges anywhere from $28,276 to more than that amount. At the very least, one might be able to get by with $15,000. These prices, however, do not take into account the price of the vehicle, the supplies, the upkeep on the truck, or any other operating costs. The figures do take into account the most fundamental legal expenditures, such as those for consultations or firm incorporation.

How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida
It is possible to spend more money on more complex types of food trucks, but the price range for fully equipped food trucks is between $50,000 and $100,000. You might also spend substantially less on a secondhand model. Prices for used food trucks range anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000. You also have the option of renting or leasing a food truck.

Warning: Specific Concerns Regarding the Coronavirus's Adverse Effects

The third phase of Florida's approach for reopening will involve the state granting permission for eateries to operate at their full capacity. On our blog, you can read more about how we are coping with the threat posed by the coronavirus, and in late September, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the state would begin Phase 3 of its plan to reopen bars, restaurants, food trucks, and other businesses to their full capacity.

A Bonus Piece of Advice for Up-and-Coming Business Owners: How Do I Select the Appropriate POS System?

It is most possible that you will need to commit a significant amount of time and energy into selecting a point-of-sale (POS) system in the event that you intend to launch a food truck or a restaurant business. When deciding on a restaurant to dine at, I would recommend that you give some careful thought to the following factors:

Is it a sufficient rate?
When you're trying to get a lot done, a sluggish machine can be incredibly aggravating. This is something that should not be overlooked when operating a food truck business.
Is it simple to put into use?

There are certain systems that are quite intricate. We have to keep our attention on the business at hand rather than the technological details.
Is there a price tag?

Some systems are designed specifically for large restaurant chains, and as a result, their price tags reflect their level of sophistication. When you are just getting started, one of your primary goals should be to keep their costs as low as possible.

Do you need any specialized hardware for it?
In contrast to earlier iterations, modern point-of-sale software doesn't require any cumbersome or pricey hardware to function properly. Some software can run flawlessly on a variety of devices, including an iPad and even a smartphone.


How much does it cost to start a food truck in Florida