How to start a food Truck : What types of permits do I need

Posted by Damian Roberti on

So if your dream of starting a food truck is one that gets you excited and ready for the first maybe wondering what type of permits or license do I need?


Should you rent or lease a food truck blog from transcript


I'm going to give you some tips about getting your own food truck by renting or leasing it. Um, when it comes to purchasing a food truck, there are a ton of variables to keep in mind. Uh, definitely whether or not it's new or used, you can get a new one for anywhere from 50 or 60,000 and up and you can get some used ones. Of course, it's depending upon the age, uh, the type of equipment that is actually has the size of the truck and many other variables, um, anywhere from 20 or 30,000 or so, or even a little bit less depending on the size up to well over a hundred thousand as well. So if you don't have that kind of funds available tomorrow and you're wanting to start a food truck, renting one or leasing one may be a better option.

So the question that I had on marketing foot online channel was in regards to can you rent one or at least one if you can? How much does it run or how much can you get one for now, I can't give you a specific dollar amount, but I can give you a rough estimate. When you're renting or leasing one monthly, it's going to be between about a grand to potentially 3,500 or even more a month. Now some rent or lease contracts can allow you to lease it till you purchase it or own it. Other ones will go for six months, a couple of months, or even up to a year. Totally dependent upon the type of contract you write with the company you're leasing it from. Now there are companies throughout the U S that actually rent and lease specifically food trucks. Now if you want to rent one and it's not in your state, it's still something that you can definitely do.

They actually have the capacity to either flatbed it, it can bring it to you and deliver it or you can go to that state and simply drive it back to your own state. Totally dependent upon how the company that's leasing and renting it, how they operate their business. Now, it's always best of course, if you find one that within your state at least that way you're not traveling halfway across the country to pick up or rent a leasing of a truck. So how much, I'm going to go through a handful of, uh, of great tips and pointers. How much does it cost? As I've just mentioned, it could be anywhere from a grant of three grand or four grand or five grand a month. Now when you write a contract and you enter into a contract with a company to lease a food truck, they may have you pay based on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even a every two months or three months at a time.

Most contracts are written where you're going to rent it. And like most, um, any type of contract that you enter into when it comes to renting or leasing property or relenting of that type of products is going to be up to a month at a time. Now, um, if you are looking to do that, there are a handful of things you need to be aware of. Now from the perspective of the one renting it, I'm going to give you that perspective. Maybe the things that you should really look for when you are looking into getting into a contract with a company. I'm going to go over just a few of those right now and we're going to talk about it.

All right. So when it comes to the maintenance of the truck itself, traditionally that would be on the side of the owner of the truck, not the one leasing or renting it. Now the one thing you definitely want to keep in mind is when you are signing the contract, you want to make sure that you distinguish between damages that you as the renter, the damages that potentially you can incur on the truck or the van or what have you. Uh, compared to traditional maintenance or maintaining the actual vehicle itself, the maintenance and in fixing something that's damaged of course are two totally different things. You need to work out who is actually going to be responsible for that within the contract itself. And that way there aren't any variables that may pop up as to who's responsible for that. And also what you want to keep in mind is when you enter into a contract, you want to make sure that there is a stipulation about mileage.

Um, most of the time you want to, as a owner of the food truck, you signed an agreement with someone to rent it from you. You want to keep them relatively within the state. If they come to you and say, look, I'm looking to travel around the country, it's not just going to be within my state, then you need to make sure that it is spelled out based upon the type of mileage and how much you're going to allot them. Now you could potentially charge them more if they exceed that. Normally, let's just say that they write a contract and there's a, within a span of a month, they're allowed to travel two or 300 miles. Reason being is that most wear and tear on the truck is predominantly done to the truck based upon how many miles it's going to be used for if it's kept within the state or even just within a County or city.

That's a minimal amount of usage and wear and tear on the truck. So the person that's renting it to you will have the ability to kind of keep track of that, to make sure that the truck is being maintained and that it's not being overworked or overused when you bring it back. Once the lease or the agreement is up or so next up is the security deposit. Now this is something that not every food truck company will have you agree to or even just bring up at all, but security deposits do come into play when it comes to unpaid parking tickets. If you've got damage that your insurance company doesn't necessarily claim as far as an insurance, um, deduction or deductible, those types of things. Or are where security deposits may come into play and they may ask for that prior to you actually taking possession of the truck.

So you want to keep in mind that any additional expenses there could potentially be a security deposit, but it is for good purpose. Now the other perspective is from the company renting it to you. If you give them a couple of grand or if it happens to be a thousand dollars in security deposit, that would motivate you as the renter to take care of the truck in order to get that safety deposit back. And of course that's a no brainer if you want to get the money back. So the other thing you want to keep in mind is obviously the insurance factor in most of the time the company that owns the truck itself will leave it up to the one rented it to make sure they have any additional supplemental insurance. Um, anything that comes from general liability or worker's comp because you as the one renting the truck itself have your own employees and the company traditionally will have its own insurance policy to cover the truck.

Now they may actually include the insurance costs every month on top of the rent that you were actually renting. So whatever you may be paying, you want to make sure that you get that rectified and figured out in the contract as to what type of insurance the company is going to provide. And you as the renter of the truck, what kind of insurance you need to supplement or you need to come in on your side as far as that's concerned. So traditionally that's something that the one who was renting the food truck will have to get for themselves, especially when it comes to like workers' compensation and those who were actually working for the company. All right, so the other things I wanted to touch on is licensing. Now normally what will happen is the company that owns the truck, the County in which that truck is registered, they're going to have and hold the permits and such a licensing specifically for that County. Now if you are looking for any type of additional, um, outside of that County, if you're functioning, you may have to have, and this is this varies by state, County and even the city is that you as the operator, if you're going to operate the food truck in a separate County or city, there could be the potential that you would need to come up with the permits in order for you or licensing in order for you to operate that truck in another County where it is not actually licensed.

Okay. And as you may or may not know, most food trucks actually utilize commissary or commercial kitchens to prep their food prior to going to an event. Not most of the preparation is done on the truck. The final bringing together the ingredients when you're cooking it for your customer who is standing outside of your truck. That is normally what's happens when you are on the food truck. So with that in mind and your, when you're renting or leasing a truck, you may want to double check to see how useful a commissary of course in commercial kitchen will be for you. And what's great about it is that there's not any fees involved in the parking and the keeping of your truck at those locations. For the most part, you want to double check with those commercial kitchens and commissaries. They're not required by law in every state or city or County.

So that varies, but in most cases it makes sense that you have one dedicated to the truck that you're using so you're not constantly changing different kitchens or you're having to find water travel around and trying to find parking for a truck even when you're trying to prep your food for your next event. So lastly is going to be obviously something that I touched on briefly in the beginning. It's going to be the payment, the actual amount, the, the amount that you and the company come to an agreement on. Now in order for you to forecast that it's a bit of a challenge and it would be something that you need to sit down and really think about because if a company tells you it's going to be about a thousand dollars a month, then you need to figure out between day one and day 30 how many events are you going to go to, which events you're going to go to and so on.

There's a lot involved in figuring that out, so don't get yourself signed into an agreement where you think off the top of your head really quick that you can make that. I can, I can definitely trade 1200 a month, two grand without having a plan as to how you were going to achieve that. So make sure you do that before you sit down and what's great is when you, most of these companies are really friendly and really easy to work with. They're going to give you some ideas on if it's your first time or if it's something there. You had a truck and now you're wanting to rent one, you want to work with them in detail as to what it's going to cost. And that way it's going to give you a really good determinant as to figuring out how much is my really going to need to make. And then that way you can plan your business out as well. So with that being said, I hope those tips give you a little bit of understanding on how to rent and lease a food truck and some of the variables that may come into play. And then when you sit down to sign that agreement, you'll have a better understanding and being, having more information, of course, always makes better decisions. So I'll see you guys on the next video and appreciate your watch.





Employer Identification Number

Food trucks typically require several employees. To operate within the boundaries of the law, you need an employer identification number (EIN). An EIN is used by the IRS to identify your business and collect the appropriate taxes from you, and employees. You can apply free for your state EIN by mail, fax or online by visiting the IRS website.

Business License

Every food truck business must get a business license to operate. Depending on the city and state, and scope of services provided, you may be charged a percentage of your gross sales or a yearly fee, along with the license fee.

Please Note: The food truck licenses and permits of any area are subject to change, so you may want to join your local restaurant or food truck association to stay informed on the changes in laws and local government officials and how they’ll affect your business.

Vehicle License

Because your business is on wheels, you’ll have to make sure the truck itself and its drivers are properly licensed. Depending on the length and weight of the vehicle, certain states may require a commercial driver’s license to operate your food truck.

Seller’s Permit

In some states, food truck owners need to apply for a seller’s permit so you can purchase food and other goods at wholesale prices without paying sales tax.

Food Handler’s Permit

Some cities and states require one or more employees of a food truck to get a food handler’s permit. The city or state may require one or more employees to take a food safety class before the permit is issued. Protect your food truck business. Make sure you have someone with a valid food handler’s permit be on the truck during open business hours.

Health Department Permit

Just as any restaurant is required to be inspected by the health department, your food truck (and commissary) will also need to. The review and approval of your local health department will verify that the food you prepare is being maintained and created in a safe manner.

Fire Certificates

The fire department will undoubtedly inspect your food truck if you’re using cooking equipment on board. They’ll educate you on the regulations you need to follow, and they’ll do routine inspections on your food truck fire suppression system.