How much does it cost to start a food truck in New York City? And do you need a permit for a food truck in New York City? Well, welcome to food truck freaks. And in this video, we are going to cover the state of New York and New York City. And we're going to talk a little bit about what you need to get your food truck up and running. You might want to watch this video from beginning to end, because we're going to cover a lot of great information to help you get a successful food truck business started in New York City.
All right. So welcome back to Food Truck Freaks Me, YouTube's premier food truck channel, bringing you useful, practical, and reliable information about getting your food truck business started, growing your existing food truck business, or helping you create multiple sources of income with one food truck. So definitely hit the subscribe button and the bell notification and check out our other food entrepreneur channels because we have a ton of them down below in the description section. You definitely want to check those out too. We have a lot of great, useful information, so let's jump right into this. Let's get right into it. So the first thing you want to check is your experience. So if you have worked in the food industry before but not necessarily on a food truck, nor have you actually run a food truck, you might want to make sure that you've got the skills needed to run a food truck business.
Being excited about cooking, being a chef, having cooking experience, and running the kitchen is one thing. But a food truck business is a completely different entity unto itself. I personally have been in the food industry for over 30 years, and I know for a fact that every single type of food business is structured differently and runs differently. So you'll want to check your experience and your skills before you dive into running a food truck business. Now, listen, if you don't have really good business skills but you're great at cooking, maybe you should find somebody who has a great business mindset and can definitely work on the business side of it. While you run the actual food truck, get a partner, get somebody who else may potentially run the business very well, but you could be the one focused on the food. Next up, food truck, business name.
So you need to check to verify whether the name you want to choose for your food truck is taken. Now you can actually step. You can go over to the New York state website and check and see within your city or county or within the state, if that name of the food truck you've chosen is something that you can actually get, because you gotta make sure you do that before. Obviously, you're getting a business license. Next, you need to register your business license with the city or county you'll be working in specifically. Now, keep in mind that some states will require you to register your food truck business with other cities or counties. When you cross over that line and you start to work and operate a business in another country, they may require you to have a second or even a third business license.
Yes. Believe it or not, It's actually true that you may need to have additional business licenses or permits to operate in other counties or cities. So double check that as well, just to be on the safe side, because you don't want to be caught without a business license in another city or county. All right. So next up, guys, you need to open a business, a bank account for your food truck. Now keep in mind that you need to separate your personal banking from your actual business banking. So every account needs to be opened specifically for your business, no matter what type of food business you have, but especially if you've got a food truck, open a business account with a food truck. Now that's also going to help you down the road. When you start to apply for loans or you want to get a business credit card that's associated or tied to your food truck business,
And that's something that's very important right off the bat. When you are up and running, you will need to purchase secure POS system hardware.You need to get a point of sale system. The hardware for this is going to allow you to take debit cards. Credit cards are basically transactions that are not going to be cash related. Keep this in mind as you go out and buy the hardware.The next step is actually going to get a merchant account, because having the hardware is just one part of it. Those are gon na be the people who are gon na process the actual transaction. The company that's gon na pay, take the payment for you, charge you a small percentage, and transact the transaction for your business. So that brings me to the next one, of course, which is applying for the POS merchant account.
So once you get the actual hardware, and by the way, if you need to figure out what hardware works best, there are some additional resources down below this video. You could check them out. You can actually get them very simply on Amazon. And then whatever POS hardware you have, you have to associate that with your merchant account and you can go from there, but having a merchant account is going to be the company that actually transacts the transaction for you. So be sure to get that as well. Next up, you need to apply for your taxpayer ID for your food truck business. You need to have a taxpayer's ID. So, at any point in time, when you start to, of course, at the end of the year, you go to your accountant and you want to make sure that you have all of the information you need to pay the proper taxes for your income.
You need to make sure that you have your taxpayer ID specifically set up for your food truck business. Next, you need to register your vehicle as a commercial vehicle. A lot of states require this, believe it or not, to separate the actual registration of the vehicle. It's not going to be intended for personal use. And it is for commercial use only. So, ensure that you actually get the registration properly set up for your food truck business. So you don't get any fines or any other legal fallout because of that next food handlers' certificate. So this is actually a program, of course, set up for you and even potentially your employees. If you've got people working for you and with you, many of them will have to go through a food handler's certificate as well. That's very similar to what they have for restaurant managers and employees.
For instance, you'll see those serve safe certificates set up on the walls, showing that there is someone on the premises who understands how to handle the food properly, is managing it properly, and all of that good stuff. So ensure that you get that certificate as well, and potentially, you might need it for your employees. Now next up is something super, super crucially important. You need to make sure you have the correct driver's license for your commercial vehicle. Yes, believe it or not, a standard license. In most states, they don't qualify as food trucks because of the size of the food trucks and the type of trucks they are. You may end up needing to get a commercial vehicle license. So check with your DMV. And see specifically if you're going to need to bid that based upon the size of the vehicle itself, next to each city and county that you operate in.
I mentioned this like I mentioned before, really briefly above. You may need to get a permit for each one of them. And in some cases, you're going to have to submit taxes. If they do have a food tax, you'll have to collect that tax and remit it to the city or county that you're operating in. There are a lot of food entrepreneurs.When they first start, they don't understand this. That is something you have to do for food truck insurance policy. So you need an insurance policy, of course, for any business, but for a food truck, of course you need one as well. It becomes a little bit more critical because of the fact that it is a rolling restaurant. As a result, everyone who works on it must be covered by insurance.need to have product liability insurance and even insurance on the truck itself. So keep in mind, there's a lot of big investment.
When you first start a food truck business, it's required for you to have a food truck business policy. Next up, if you have any type of office or home base office, maybe potentially even at your home, if you operate the business aspect of the food truck, not necessarily what goes on in the commissary kitchen or the commercial kitchen. But if you operate that from home, you're going to need office equipment. You're going to need laptops. You're going to need any type of copier. Remember, all of that is tax deductible because when you buy that, that's part of working and building the business. Those can be written off as business expenses. So if you have a home office, for instance, you need to make sure that you have that covered as well. Next up, do a little bit of market research. Guys, Don't think that if you open a taco truck in the middle of New York City, for instance, that you're going to be the only one there that's selling tacos.
If there are 20 different food trucks selling tacos and you want to start a taco truck, I would highly recommend you find something else to make because you want to be unique about the product that you're making. You don't want to oversaturate the market because you won't be successful. That's just not going to happen. Next up, You need to generate funds for your food truck business. Getting people to invest in, or invest in, a concept that has not yet been proven is extremely difficult.Yes, but you can use credit cards. You can use family and friends. Whoever you can get to get funds up and running. It's very difficult to get a bank to actually give you a bank loan for a food truck. When you don't have it operating, you don't show profits. You don't show that it's been in existence for more than two or three years.
That's really difficult for banks. Normally, I don't do that. So, coming up with the funds might be something that you're going to have to do on your own. Initially, Now, once you are up and running and you do have a little bit of history, you can apply for bank loans. That's the next one. These will help you grow that startup. They will help you grow that startup food truck business. Once you get a little bit of leverage and get the wheels moving on your business, go to a bank and check and see what they can do for you. All right, next, you need to create an employee handbook. Now, these are not necessarily requirements in every single state, but having an employee handbook is something that's going to help you as the business owner in major ways. Why? Because when you create a book and it shows what you expect from the people working with you and for you, your business will run much smoother and also be much more profitable and successful.
When you have people working with you and around you who know what you want them to do, So it doesn't have to be a 900-page book. Guys, It could be something very simple, explaining what the duties and responsibilities are of your employees are, and so on and so on. All right, so next up, you're going to need to have a food truck logo. So when you create a food truck business, you've got to create a brand and a concept. What is your brand? What is your identity? What do you do? Creating a logo, which if you don't know how to create a logo, check the resources again. Down below this video, you can get one made on fiber. For instance, for 50 to a hundred dollars, it doesn't need to be expensive, but having a logo creates a concept of your brand and that's going to be on your food truck.
So you need to be aware of that. Because that actually brings us to the next step, creating the food truck wrap. And again, you have no idea how to create a food truck wrap. There are designers on fiber that can create food truck wraps for you. And they can literally create that image. And you can have it put on your food truck. Next, you want to hire a really good chef or cook as a backup or even an assistant to your business. Here's what I mean. So if you perhaps can't be at a certain event on certain days and you have someone who works with you, who's a chef, maybe a trained cook, maybe a culinary cook, You need to make sure that they are there to run the show. If you can't be there, because there's a potential that you can't be at every single event that you want to be at,
But if you've got some assistance in somebody running the truck for you, you're generating revenue when you're not able to actually be there. all right? So next up, you obviously need to get the food truck, but guess what guys, you don't necessarily need to buy one. Many food truck entrepreneurs are right off the bat out of the gate. They don't understand that they can rent or even lease a food truck. You don't necessarily need to buy one. You don't have to put a hundred grand out. You can rent one or even lease one to own it. Believe it or not, Yes, you can do that. That is something that will save you dramatically on your budget. The only drawback to that is that you potentially need to customize the truck on the outside with your brand or with your food truck wrap.
all right? So next up, you need to actually purchase all the cutlery and plates and napkins and all the utensils, all the stuff that you need to get up and running. That's something that you need to think about. You're going to need about 800 to about a thousand dollars' worth of those. Those are small things. Those are little items that, obviously, you serve your food on, things like ketchup packets. If you need that or any other additional utensils, these are things that you need to buy prior to opening your doors. Next level, a food truck business always needs to have a website. Yes, you don't necessarily. You're going to start selling things online. Initially, maybe an e-commerce business, but having a website, explaining who you are, what you do, even a schedule of where you're going to be locally, will help your business grow dramatically. And down the road.
As I mentioned before, about the logo and the Brandy guys, there are food trucks that have a lot of products. They have a lot of merchandise that they sell on their websites, like hats, sweaters, hoodies, shirts, pants, all kinds of stuff, coffee bugs, even all kinds of things. I've seen food trucks that have the little QR code. You scan it and it takes them over to your website. And people are buying merchandise, creating and generating additional streams of revenue. That's a no-brainer. If you have a food truck, obviously you can't be operating a food truck 24 hours a day, but your website certainly can. So open a website, get it up and running down the road. You're going to turn that into an e-commerce business. Next up, you're going to get a fire inspection. So you're going to have the fire department inspect your vehicle. Your food truck vehicle is always going to get inspected by the fire department.
They're going to make sure that your generators are hooked up properly. You've got the right electrical work. All of the outlets are functioning properly. Any of the equipment can be turned on and off without any problems. It's the safety of the vehicle that they're basically looking for. And that's something that will always be a must. Next up, create a menu specifically dedicated to things that you are good at making. Keep in mind, the menu is your menu. You can change it. You can fluctuate. You can go up and down. You can mix it up. You can change it at any point in time. That's the beauty of a food truck, but if you're just starting out, don't force yourself to make something that you're truly not enjoying making, or that you're even good at. If you're good at Asian cuisine, we'll then focus on an Asian menu.
When creating an Asian menu, don't create 20 or 30 or 50 items; make five or six to start with. You can always change it. That's that's, what's so cool about having a food truck is that you can operate it at any point in time with any type of meaning that you prefer or you like. Next, keep your proper documentation on your vehicle. In many instances, when you get inspections from the health department, you're going to need to show documentation. The things that are up to date are licenses and permits, even insurance proof of insurance. You need to have all that with you. It's not something that you put in your office. If you've got an office at home, you'll want to make sure your vehicle has that as well. So proper documentation there is a really good idea. inventory log. A lot of food truck operators do not take advantage of this as a resource.
And it is, it's a very valuable one. If you keep an inventory log of what sells and what doesn't down the road, that will help you narrow your menu down to help you understand what sells really well and what doesn't really sell at all. So you can precisely make a menu where, you know, you're gonna be profitable instead of just throwing a whole bunch of stuff together and hoping that it sticks and makes money. All right, next up, maintaining records of the commissary and commercial kitchen on your vehicle. So almost every, every state that creates a food truck business that allows you to do that as part of the licensing and permitting process, you're going to need to be attached to a specific commissary or commercial kitchen. So those documentation showing that it's valid, that it's up to date and that you are part of that specific location needs to be on the, on the truck itself, because you might actually be asked for that documentation to prove that you are operating within the law.
Lastly, creating social media account, yes, you need to have a social media account on every platform. Social media will allow you down the road to grow your e-commerce business and even your brand awareness, because as you do that, you're gonna allow customers to, for instance, on Instagram, take pictures of your food truck, take pictures of an at an event, post it up there, give people a reason, give 'em a contest. Hey, you know what? Next time you post post a picture, an image, you get a free beverage or get a free meal. There's always some way to market and promote your food truck online. So don't underestimate the power of social media when it comes to your food truck and then down the road, as you start to sell more merch, you can tie your social media into your website and make even more money. So if you're looking to create a food truck business in New York, this is definitely a good start. You're gonna understand what you need to get up and running and all of that fantastic information is gonna get you successfully started. So if you've got any more questions about starting a food truck business, welcome to food, truck freaks, and definitely let us know down below comment. If you are operating your food truck in New York, give us some feedback on how you started and I'll see you guys in our next video.