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Do Hot Dog Carts Need License Plates? Do They Have Titles?

Do hot dog carts have titles? Does a hot dog cart need a license plate? If YES, how do you get a license? Here is everything you need to know.

Who doesn’t like some hot dog when the hunger pangs come calling, especially in the late afternoons? This is why businesses in the snack industry are doing well all year round. Operating a hot dog cart can be a low-cost, fun way of becoming a small business owner.

But like any other small business, you need to know what licenses you need to start off. Learning the kind of business license you need for a hot dog cart is compulsory since specific licenses may be required at the federal, state and local level. The overhead of this business is relatively cheap, and you can set your own hours and location.

In addition, depending on your area of operation, you may be required to show proof of insurance. A lot of intended hot dog cart entrepreneurs have always wondered if the government would require them to get a license plate to operate their hot dog cart. We would attempt to address this concern in this article.

Does a Hot Dog Cart Need a License Plate? 

When it comes to operating a hot dog cart, a lot of things will come into play but one thing you need to know is that you do not need a license plate to run the business.

The license the business requires is a business license and a food handlers permit that is issued by the health department of your state. A typical everyday hot dog cart does not require a license plate unless the cart is motorized or towed as a trailer on the street.

A hot dog cart built to tow behind a vehicle should be registered as a trailer. If it is going to be used on the street for sales, then you should know that it has to be plated. If it is moved about on another trailer, and used only on private property or parking lots, then it doesn’t need license plates. If the person buying it is asking for the slip, obviously he wants to tow it.

Do Hot Dog Carts Have Titles?

Usually you will need to have your trailer title so you can get the tags that will make your cart street legal. But this is only applicable if your hot dog cart is towed by a trailer. So you may not need a title if you just operate a simple hot dog cart. Again, if you have your Certificate of Origin, you may be covered on the aspect of cart title.

5 Requirements for a Hot Dog Stand Business License

Hot dogs are a favorite with many people, and that makes a hot dog stand that is in a good location – in business districts, near hospitals and colleges, or even at temporary events, such as fairs and festivals – a potentially profitable enterprise.

Before you can start filling those buns and slathering on the mustard, however, you have to obtain a food vending license.

1. Food Vending License

Most jurisdictions require hot dog stands to obtain food vending licenses before opening for business. To obtain this type of license, you will typically have to contact your local health department and meet its requirements, which may include jurisdiction-specific criteria for the type and size of the hot dog stand. You may also have to provide a menu that includes everything you will sell and a price list.

2. Food Handler’s Permit

Some jurisdictions require hot dog stands to have a certified food handler or manager on the premises during business hours. If your jurisdiction requires this, you may have to complete a training program offered by your local health department for certification.

3. General Business License

Many jurisdictions require hot dog stands to obtain a general business license in addition to the food handling or vendor permits required to operate a hot dog stand. This license gives that you permission to conduct business in the particular jurisdiction.

You can apply for a business license through your city or county department of licensing and inspections or another agency responsible for business licenses and permits.

4. Health Inspections and Certificates

You will have to submit to the inspection of your new hot dog stand before you can begin selling food. The inspection will typically cover such things as cleanliness, storage, refrigeration, food preparation space and trash disposal receptacles.

It will also include checking that you have a properly working fire extinguisher as well. When you pass inspection, you will receive a certificate or another type of proof that you must display in or on your stand. Many jurisdictions conduct periodic surprise inspections, so you need to be prepared for this at all times.