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Do You Need a Permit for a Vending Machine?

Yes, in most circumstances, a permit or license is needed for operating a vending business in the United States. The particular permit and license differ based on the location as well as the category of vending business you intend to operate.

In fact, local as well as state governments regulate vending enterprises, and their permit requirements include acquiring a business license, a tax ID number, a vending machine operator’s license, as well as other permits attributed to safety and health standards.

Vending machine permit legislations differ widely across the country, or even from city to city. Several states, for instance, might necessitate a permit for any vending machine that sells food, whereas others would only necessitate a permit for devices that offer tobacco or alcoholic items.

Likewise, several cities might demand a permit for every vending machine, whereas others would only demand a permit for vending machines placed in public areas including parks and public transportation stations.

Anybody that wants to start a vending machine business in the United States should look into the specific licenses and permits in their location. Failing to gather the necessary permits might lead to monetary penalties or other legal consequences that can be both costly and damaging to a business brand.

Permits and Licenses Required for a Vending Machine

  1. Business License

A business license acts as the initial license needed for running a vending machine business. A business license is a permit granted either by state or local government to engage in commerce inside their territory. The criteria as well as charges for a business license differ considerably on where your vending machine is located.

Steps to Apply
  • Take your time determining the physical address of your vending machine(s), and contact the local government or Chamber of Commerce to know and understand more about license requirements in that area.
  • Complete the business license application.
  • Pay the applicable fees.
  • Wait for the local government or the Chamber of Commerce’s authorization.
  1. Sales Tax Permit

A sales tax permit authorizes you to retrieve as well as remit sales tax on vending machine purchases. If you offer tangible valuables, including treats or drinks, via a vending machine, you must acquire a sales tax permit in most states.

Steps to Apply

To acquire a sales tax permit, you must:

  • Evaluate your vending machine location federal and municipal sales tax rates (s).
  • Consult the state Department of Revenue or the local tax authority.
  • Ensure you correctly complete the sales tax permit application.
  • Pay any applicable fees or security deposits.
  • Wait for permission from the state revenue agency or the local tax authority.
  1. Health Department Permit

To continue operating a vending machine, you will require a health department permit in addition to a business and sales tax permit.

A permit from the health department guarantees that your vending machine as well as its products satisfy specific requirements for safety and health. The specifications for a health department permit largely depend on where your vending machine is located (s).

Steps to Apply

To acquire a health department permit, you must do the following:

  • Ask the nearest health department to learn more about the criteria for a health department permit in that region.
  • Take your time to appropriately fill out the health department permit application.
  • Provide documentation demonstrating that your vending machine satisfies requirements for safety and health, including evidence of refrigeration for perishable goods.
  • Pay any applicable fees.
  • Wait for the local health department’s authorization.
  1. Federal Trade Commission Labeling Requirements

If your vending machine sells food, you must adhere to the Federal Trade Commission’s regulatory standards (FTC). In accordance with the FTC, many foods bought through vending machines may be branded with specific info such as the product name, condiments, as well as nutritional labeling.

Steps to Apply

In order to ensure compliance with FTC labeling requirements, you must:

  • Get the labeling details you need from the food manufacturer or supplier.
  • Print or apply the necessary labels to each piece of merchandise offered by your vending machine.


To achieve compliance with local, state, as well as federal regulations, operating a vending machine necessitates a number of authorizations and licenses. A business license, a sales tax permit, a health department permit, as well as conformance with FTC labeling requirements, are all necessary.

You can guarantee that your vending machine company operates properly and safely by getting the appropriate permits and licenses.