Before you can start a food truck business, the first thing you will want to do is secure at least a seller’s permit in CA. A seller’s permit allows you to sell taxable items—your food and beverages—to consumers. However, it does not exempt you from paying sales taxes on the items you need to stock your food truck. If you want to be exempt from sales taxes, then you also need to know how to get a reseller’s permit in CA.
In addition to your seller’s permit and reseller’s permit, you will need to obtain a state business license. Some cities, like San Diego and Los Angeles, also require business owners to obtain a city business license, which is separate from your state business license.
Food Truck Startup Costs
Aside from the costs for the various licenses, you will need to budget and plan for other startup costs, including:
- The Food Truck
- Equipment for the Food Truck
- Food Inventories
- Truck Modifications and Design
- Website Design
- Business Cards
- Marketing and Advertising
- POS App/System for Processing Credit/Debit Transactions
- Restaurant Supplies (i.e., Plates, Napkins, Forks, Knives, etc.)
- Fire Extinguishers
- Rent and Lease Location Costs
Keep in mind, this list is not exclusive, and your actual startup costs could include other items not listed here. Furthermore, you will be required to ensure the food truck complies with all federal, state, county, and city regulations, including those regarding food safety and food handling.
Finding a Food Truck for Sale
In order to start a food truck business, you need a food truck! There are several different options available, depending on what type of equipment you will require inside the truck to run your business. One option is to look for a used food truck you can buy that is already outfitted with the equipment you require.
Another option is to find a truck that is the right size, and then customize it to your specifications. Customizations often do cost more than finding a used food truck. Since you will be held to the same health and safety standards as a restaurant, you will need the right equipment to store, prepare, and cook food.
Finding Equipment for Your Food Truck
If you decided to buy a truck and modify it for your food truck business, then you will need to find the right equipment. The best place to start is to look at used restaurant equipment that will fit inside the truck. Buying used can cost less, as long as you make sure the equipment is in decent condition. Otherwise, you will want to invest in new equipment.
Making the Food Truck Legal
Once you have your permits and business licenses, and you have secured a location where you can legally park, you may be required to have the food truck inspected by a health inspector and other such individuals from various government agencies to verify it complies with all rules, regulations, and laws. These inspections have to be completed prior to opening your truck for business.
Starting a food truck business can be challenging, but it can come with huge rewards if you launch a successful business. For assistance in securing your seller’s and reseller’s permits for starting a food truck business, as well as various business licenses, please feel free to contact Fastfilings.com using our online contact form or leave us a message at (415) 857-3301 today!