Perhaps one of California’s greatest assets is the phenomenal variety of food trucks selling tasty fare from various cultures and culinary styles. The idea of running a food truck business yourself can be exciting, but it’s important to make sure you have a California reseller permit and are aware of all the legal requirements before you dive in head-first.
Important Rules and Requirements for Food Truck Businesses
Food trucks face different legal issues than restaurants and other food retail businesses. As such, food-truck-specific legislation dictates how they’re expected to be run. The information below is not all-inclusive, but the following are some of the most major legal issues and regulations you should be aware of before starting your food truck business.
Licenses and Permits
In order to legally operate a food truck in California, you’ll need to have the following licenses and permits:
- Business license: All California businesses need a business license to operate legally in a given city. This may require an annual fee and/or a percentage of sales. You’ll also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) if you have employees working for you.
- Vehicle license: You’ll need to have a license for your truck just like any other vehicle. You may or may not need to have a commercial driver’s license.
- Food handling permit: In some areas, you may need a food handling permit and/or take a food safety course. Someone with this kind of permit must always be present when your food truck is open.
- CA reseller permit/seller permit: To sell any food, you’ll need to have a seller permit if you’re selling your own goods and/or a reseller permit if you’re selling someone else’s pre-made goods.
- Health department permit: Your food truck will be subject to health inspections by the local health department. This permit is mandatory to make sure your truck’s cleanliness and food safety are overseen by local authorities.
Regulations and Restrictions
Here are just a few requirements and limitations you should know about before you open your food truck business:
- The food you plan to serve needs to be approved by the health department. If your kitchen is insufficient to safely prepare your chosen menu items, you won’t be able to sell it.
- Food trucks must obey all local laws and posted road signs just like any other vehicle.
- You need to properly dispose of trash in and around your truck, as well as provide a clearly visible trash receptacle with signage instructing patrons to use it.
- Permits need to be available and accessible at all times while you’re operating.
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