How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.


So if you live in the state of Tennessee and you're looking to start a food truck business here in food truck freaks, we're going to go over the permits and licenses. You may need to get up and running in order for you to be a legitimate food truck business. And we're going to dive into those right now.

All right. So welcome back, food truck freaks. We are YouTube's premier food, truck, and entrepreneur channel, bringing you tons of information, useful, practical, and applicable information about how to get your food truck up and running. My name is Damien Robert, founder and CEO of marketing food online. We are actually not new to YouTube. We have a ton of food entrepreneur channels here on YouTube. Check out those links down below in the description for more resources for you. And now let's dive right into looking to get into the permits and licenses and what you need to get as far as the legal aspects of your food truck business in the state of Tennessee. So the first thing you want to get right off the bat is your E I N. This is your employer's identification number. This is something that the IRS issues. It's actually free. Whether you want to believe it or not,


How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.


It's one of the free things that you can get as far as licenses and permits, but you want to apply for that at the IRS website. And that's kind of like a social security number for your food truck business. Be sure to get that as soon as possible when you create your entity and get your business licenses. As we dive into that list down below, I'm going to go through the whole list right now. And E, of course, makes it right at the top of the list. This is also for tax purposes as well. So when you begin to file your taxes for your food truck business, you'll definitely need to have that next thing we've got is a business license. Obtaining a business license in the state of Tennessee is one thing. One thing that's really unique about mobile food truck businesses is that you may have to, from city to city, get an additional business license as a mobile food business.

You're actually crossing over into other counties and cities. And if you operate a food truck within a certain city or county limit, and you go into another one, you may actually need to have a business license as well. So be sure to check specifically, if you're going to be going from one city to the next, if you have to legally have an additional business license. Believe it or not, most states require you to have a business license in every city that you operate in. And also when you start to collect sales tax, if you've got a food sales tax in your state specifically, you'll also need to have that as well, because each city that you conduct business in will have to have those taxes remitted to it. So number three, driver's license. You need to have a valid driver's license and you're probably thinking to yourself, well, that's kind of a no-brainer.


How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.

Damian, of course, I need to have a driver's license. Well, and in many cases, when you have employees, or if you have somebody working with you or working for you on your free truck, keep in mind, they have to have a valid license as well. If they've ever driven or are driving your food truck, which is your as the owner, it's your bread and butter. And it's your, your business on wheels. You wanna make sure that you've got a valid driver's license for everybody, because if you get pulled over or if they get pulled over driving your truck and you happen to not be there, or maybe you're meeting them at a, at an event, and you've got one of your employees driving your truck and they get pulled over and don't have a valid license, you could lose your food truck, license or permit.

You can even get your truck impounded if there's ever an accent or something severe that happens. So make sure that everybody has a valid driver's license. Number four, you need to ensure that you get a seller's permit, also known as a reseller's license. Okay? So this is a specific license. It's a permit that allows you to not be taxed twice. So if you are buying ingredients for your day, if you're getting proteins, vegetables, these are the things that you're making and preparing on your food truck. You need to make sure and ensure that you're not getting taxed at the register when you buy them. If you happen to go to a supply store and you're getting a restaurant supply store and you're getting your ingredients from them, you need to make sure that you're not getting tax at the register because you will be collecting tax.

How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.


When you sell the final product to your customers, If you have a food sales tax, of course, every state varies on this as well. So be sure to check with your city and county whether you've got a sales tax for your food and what that actual sales tax rate is. You don't want to get taxed twice. Okay, Next up is a food handler's permit or a food safety certification. Now this is something that's pretty normal in all of the food industry. As far as restaurants are concerned, even if it's a coffee shop, many health departments will require, and as well, of course, we'll get to that in a minute, but your health departments will require a permit and a handling safe, certified certification for your actual employees, those working with you, and as well as yourself. Make sure that you get that as well, because it's gon na be a course dedicated to how to prepare food, how to store food properly at certain temperatures, hygiene, sanitation, and everything else in between.

So it's actually something that would benefit you big time in a really big way. So make sure that you get a food handler's permit or certification in the city or county that you're going to be operating in Tennessee. Next up you have the health department inspections. So many food trucks actually need to be assigned to a commissary or commercial kitchen in order to prepare their food for the day, get rid of their water, get some of their gray water, get rid of that, and also get fresh, clean water, clean, sanitize, and get rid of any trash. So the predominance across the country is that every state requires food trucks to be attached to; in a sense, you've got to have a home base of operation, and that's going to be something that you normally get. And as the health department will inspect your facility, specifically your food truck, they may want to know exactly what commissary kitchen or commercial kitchen you have addressed on your form.

How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.


So be sure to have that also set up, all right, next up is your fire inspections or fire certificate. So fire departments will double check every single aspect of your actual vehicle in regards to how it's operating the safety of it and everything else in between. So you wanna ensure that you've got even also potentially up to one to two fire hydrants, little portable fire extinguishers, if you will actually within the vehicle itself. So fire certificate is something you will get from the fire department. Once they've inspected your generators, making sure that the lines are set up, making sure that you've got them installed properly and any other additional custom electrical work or any electrical work at all to ensure that everything on the vehicle is actually working correctly. Now let's get into the branding. So if you have a concept for your food truck, which you probably do, and you probably will have, you need to make sure that you are getting the trademark protected legally.

So getting the trademark protected is something that you That's the United States patent trademark office. You wanna protect your brand's trademark by getting it copyrighted patented or protected through trademark process. This is something though that takes some time. So getting this started early on would be a really good thing for you to do. If you're thinking about getting a food truck work on your brand and the identity, the brand identity of your product, your food truck, and everything else that you've got going on and ensure that you get submitted because the application process is pretty simple and short, but whether it gets approved or denied is up to six to eight months down the road. And that is quite some time. You definitely don't wanna be waiting on your food truck, trademark to come in in order for you to use that logo. All right.


How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.

So next up in lastly, food truck insurance. Now this is something that's crucially important, making sure that you have at least what the state requires or your sitting county may have specific stipulations to within the state of Tennessee, that you've got food, truck insurance, whether that happens to be certain coverages, a certain amount of coverage, or if you have to have things listed on your actual food truck insurance policy that is local and needed to have on there. So food truck insurance is something that also runs about 800 to about $1,200 a year. You wanna ensure that you have at least, like I said, the minimum, you could go over that. And of course I'm not an insurance salesman. I'm not gonna get into 70 insurance, but at least have what is required in order for you to function properly in the state of Tennessee. So there you have it, that's a handful of permits and licenses that most food trucks will actually need to have. And you may or may not need to have additional nickname. Well, if you've got any additional comments or questions about your food truck, business, or opening a food truck in the state of Tennessee, let us know down in the comment section and we'll get to it as soon as we can. And I'll see you guys on our next video.






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How to start a food truck business in Tennessee.