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Starting a Food Truck – Licenses, Permits & Insurance

Do you want to know the legal requirements you need to start a food truck business? If YES, here is a checklist of food truck licenses, permits & insurance.

Having provided you with a:

  1. Food Truck Industry Overview
  2. Market Research and Feasibility
  3. Food Truck Business Plan Template
  4. Food Truck Marketing Plan
  5. Food Truck Name ideas
  6. Cost of Starting a Food Truck
  7. Food Truck Marketing ideas

We will consider what it takes to get operating license and permit for your food truck business including insurance coverage and intellectual property protection.

Starting a Food Truck – Licenses, Permits & Insurance

  • Best Legal Entity to Use for a Food Truck Business

The best legal entity to use for this business is to register the business as a limited liability company. You should also consider discussing with your attorney to advise you on the most suitable legal entity to use for your food truck business. This is important because the laws that regulates the food truck industry varies from state to state and even from cities to cities in the U.S. and in Canada.

Does a Food Truck Business Require Professional Certification?

Before you can be permitted to operate a food truck business; be it in the United States of America or in other parts of the world (developed world most especially), you are expected to apply and obtain certain certification or permits as the case may be.

You are supposed to get clean health certificate, you are expected to have undergone catering training as well as obtain food handler certificate. You can also check up with your state or city to know if you will require a professional certification before you can be licensed to run your own food truck business.

List of Legal Documents Needed to Run a Food Truck Business

The requirements for food truck business vary widely from country to country, states to states and from cities to cities.

For instance, in Toronto, Canada, some of the requirements for food truck business include business and liability insurance, a Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for the truck, permits for each municipality being operated in (downtown, various suburbs), a food handler certificate, appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers, assistant’s licenses for assistants, and a health inspection. Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license et al.

These are some of the basic legal requirements needed before you can successfully start and run your own food truck business;

  • Business and liability insurance
  • Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration for the truck
  • Permits for each municipality being operated in (downtown, various suburbs),
  • Food handler certificate
  • Appropriate driver’s licenses for drivers
  • Assistant’s licenses for assistants
  • Health inspection Certificate
  • Proof of ownership, proper identification and vehicle license
  • Proof of district-issued food manager identification card
  • Food purchase record storage and record keeping
  • Depot, commissary or service support facility meets vending unit operation needs
  • Copy of license for the service support facility and/or a recent inspection report
  • Tax Payer’s ID
  • Fire certificate
  • Kitchen insurance
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Non – disclosure Agreement
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Employee’s Handbook
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs

The Preferred Insurance Policies for a Food Truck Business

Just like any other business, there are key insurance policies that you must have in place if you operating a food truck business. Besides you can’t be permitted to run a food truck business in the United States, in Canada, Australia and in Europe if you don’t have the basic insurance cover for your business.

These are some of the basic insurance cover that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own food truck business in the United States of America;

  • General insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Liability insurance
  • Kitchen Insurance
  • Workers compensation
  • Overhead expense disability insurance
  • Business owner’s policy group insurance
  • Motor Vehicle Insurance (Comprehensive)

Intellectual Property Protections for your Food Truck Brand

Generally, food truck businesses does not require intellectual property protections. This is so because of the nature of the business. The only case where food truck business can seek for intellectual property protection is when they have a unique recipe and they want to monopolize it. It is rare though, but food truck business owners can file for intellectual property protection when they want to protect their brand name and logo.

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