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6 Licenses You Need for an Ice Cream Truck Business?

While an ice cream business can seem easy to start and operate, keep in mind that you will be expected to obtain specific permits and licenses; however, you would want to know that they are very location-specific.

You will find that some cities and states require special event permits to vend ice creams from a truck, while others have no such regulations.

If you are operating in more than one place – such as going from town to town for special events – you might be expected to acquire different permits and licenses for each location.

When looking to start and manage this business, it is recommended you work with a seasoned lawyer to ensure you have all the details regarding the license and permit you need to do business.

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Always take your time to ensure you have all the requisite legal documents in place and verify that your business is in line with the law.

Nevertheless, outlined below are some of the licenses and authorizations you need to start and operate your ice cream truck business.

License You Need for an Ice Cream Truck

  1. Business Registration

This is the first thing to check out when looking to start an ice cream truck business. Even before you open your windows to attend to patrons, it is necessary you register your business with the appropriate local, state, and federal authorities. You will more or less be expected to file the appropriate paperwork and pay the necessary fees.

  1. Business Licenses and Permits

You will be expected to obtain certain licenses and permits for your ice cream truck business. This might very well include an ice cream truck permit, health department permit, or other licenses. Owing to that, take your time to carry out extensive research to ensure you are in conformity with the specific requirements in your area.

  1. Insurance

You cannot afford to undermine the importance of the right insurance in this line of business. You will have to invest in acquiring general liability insurance, coupled with every other coverage that you need as well as the one stipulated by your state. This is to primarily safeguard you if by chance anything goes wrong with your business.

  1. Driver’s License

This is without doubt one of the most vital licenses you need to operate this business. Since the business in question is an ice cream truck, it is obvious you will be driving your ice cream truck from place to place. Owing to that, you will need a driver’s license.

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Although it will most likely depend on the size of your truck, you might very well have to obtain a commercial driver’s license, and this will necessitate taking a special course and passing a separate exam.

  1. Parking Permit

These businesses sell ice cream as well as other related items using a truck, sometimes parked at a spot and some other times cruising through the neighborhood.

Although you can really just pull up somewhere and start selling food out of your truck, a good number of cities and states will expect your business to obtain parking permits or risk being ticketed, fined, or even banned from carrying out business activities within a certain area.

  1. Special Event Permit

Just as was noted above, the exact licenses and permits you need to start and efficiently run this business will depend on your location in the United States.

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In some places, ice cream trucks are expected to obtain a special event permit to sell food at a particular venue, like a public park during a festival.

They might also be mandated to obtain a special permit to do things like vend at a wedding or sell ice creams at a sporting event.


While it might seem easy to start and run these businesses, you have to understand that there are numerous laws that concern ice cream trucks and they will vary depending on location. For instance, there are numerous cities in the United States with vital statuses that regulate noise and safety rules for vehicles that are selling different products.

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As such, it is recommended you physically pay a visit to your city’s official website and inquire about the laws that come with starting and running this business. It’s better and more cost-effective to conform to all the rules and obtain the proper permits than to wait till you encounter issues.