Food Truck Regulations by State 2024

For patrons and those with appetites, food trucks can be a refreshing change of pace and an easy way to try new cuisines. For entrepreneurs, food trucks can be the ticket to freedom, or at the very least, a means to a good income.

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, patrons and food truck operators aren't the only eyes on food trucks. Food trucks, as you might imagine, are subject to many safety and food handling protocols, including more than a few overseeing authorities.

##Food Truck Costs

There are costs associated with starting and running a food truck. The first of these costs is a business license. In most states, business license fees for food trucks are determined at the county level. Some, however, are statewide. Washington, Illinois, Delaware, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Arkansas, Georgia, New Mexico, Alaska, Indiana, Ohio, Nevada, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Alabama, Minnesota, Maryland, and New York all have license fees between $15 and $500. The lowest fees are in Minnesota ($15), Alaska ($25), Indiana ($25), and Ohio ($25), while the highest are in New York ($100-$200), and Nevada ($200-$500).

Another cost for food truck operators is the annual facility cost. Again, in most states, this fee varies by county. In California, this fee can be as much as $1,000. In most states, it ranges from $150 to $700 per year. However, Virginia, New York, Nevada, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts, South Dakota, and Nebraska all have annual fees less than $100.

In addition, every food truck must also have a Public Health Permit License, a Food Handler’s Permit, and a Seller’s Permit. The total of these three permits will be approximately $100-$1,000.

Local Food Truck Operations

Many people, and in particular, single-owner or small business operations, that run food trucks, only do so locally or within their state of residence. These people often winterize or put their food trucks in safe storage during the off-season.

Anyone who operates locally or only works within their state of residence will be required to get permits and licensing from that state. In most cases, these fees and licenses are reasonably priced and don't cause any financial burden on food truck operators. The major concern for any food truck operator, regardless of the type of operation, is ensuring a valid license and right to work in said state. 
## State and Local Regulations There are also local and state regulations that are enforced for food truck operations as well. Some states, like California, and Florida, require a Certified Food Protection Manager to be involved in the operation of the business to make sure all good safety regulations are followed. Man cities have rules about both the hours of operation and length of operation, with four consecutive hours being a common limit for a food truck.

Additionally, all states have requirements for food safety. These include designated hand washing stations, requiring food to be prepared in an inspected commercial kitchen, and not allowing food to be handled with bare hands.

Traveling Food Trucks

There are also many types of food truck services that operate year-round. Many of these food trucks follow fair and festival circuits, moving farther south during colder months and then to the northern parts of the country during warmer seasons.

That also means trucks that sell or distribute food items in other states are also required to be licensed by that or those states. The good news is, for the majority of food truck businesses, that will only include a few states at most.

Types of Food Truck Services

We have all probably encountered a food truck or two in our day. These mobile food vendors are often a welcome sight and can be found at construction sites, around fairs and carnivals, or even at retail store locations.

Food trucks that operate in a retail capacity, however, will also have additional requirements to meet. The Department of Public Health Division of Food, Milk & Lodging is the branch of the US Food & Drug Administration that typically handles food trucks operating in this capacity.

Food Truck Regulations by State 2024

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License Cost
Mobile Food Facility Cost
Liquor License Cost
Food Handlers License Cost
Additional Links
Alabama$15-$100Varies by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employee
Alaska$25-$100Varies by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeAlcohol & Marijuana Control Office
ArizonaVaries by county$610 per year$2000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeArizona Department of Liquor
Arkansas$50+Varies by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeArkansas Alcoholic Beverage Control
California$15-$100$100-$1,000+$105-$16,000+Up to $15 per employee
ColoradoVaries by county$100 fee$1550-$5000Up to $15 per employeeColorado Food Handler Training
Connecticut$20-$100Varies by county$1450-$5000Up to $15 per employeeConnecticut State Department of Consumer Protection
Delaware$75$143 per year$1000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeDelaware One Stop
FloridaVaries by county$347 per year$1820-$5000Up to $15 per employeeFlorida Mobile Food Establishments
Georgia$50-$100+$200 per year$1000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeGeorgia Department of Public Health
HawaiiVaries by countyVaries by country$150-$1200Up to $15 per employeeDepartment of Liquor Control
IdahoVaries by county$200 per year$100-$500Up to $15 per employeeIdaho Mobile Food Establishment
Illinois$75+$700 per year$750-$2500Up to $15 per employee
Indiana$25$150 per year$1000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeIndiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission
IowaVaries by county$150 per year$780-$5000Up to $15 per employeeIowa Alcoholic Beverages Division
KansasVaries by countyVaries by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeKansas Department of Revenue
KentuckyVaries by county$200 per year$1800-$5000Up to $15 per employeeKentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
Louisiana$50+$50 per year$2500-$5000Up to $15 per employeeLouisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control
MaineVaries by county$200 per year$1500-$5000Up to $15 per employeeMaine Bureau of Alcoholic Beverages & Lottery Operations
Maryland$100+Varies by county$110-$500Up to $15 per employeeMaryland Alcohol Tobacco Commission
Massachusetts$65$60 per year$200-$500Up to $15 per employeeAlcoholic Beverages Control Commission
MichiganVaries by county$192 per year$600-$2000Up to $15 per employeeMichigan Liquor Control Commission
Minnesota$15Varies by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeMinnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement
MississippiVaries by countyVaries by county$475-$1000Up to $15 per employeeMississippi Department of Revenue
MissouriVaries by countyVaries by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeMissouri Department of Public Safety: Alcohol & Tobacco Control
MontanaVaries by countyVaries by county$400-$1000Up to $15 per employeeMontana Department of Revenue
NebraskaVaries by county$86 per year$400-$1000Up to $15 per employeeNebraska Liquor Control Commission
Nevada$200-$500$50 per year$2500-$5000Up to $15 per employeeNevada Alcoholic Beverage Control
New HampshireVaries by county$225 per year$178-$500Up to $15 per employeeNew Hampshire Liquor Commission Division of Enforcement
New Jersey$150$54 per year$200-$500Up to $15 per
New Mexico$35$120 per year$1050-$5000Up to $15 per employeeNew Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department
New York$100-$200$50 per year$4300-$10000Up to $15 per employeeNew York State Department of Health
North CarolinaVaries by county$150 per year$1000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeMobile Food Services
North DakotaVaries by countyVaries by county$335-$1000Up to $15 per employeeLiquor Permits & Licenses
Ohio$25Varies by county$2300-$5000Up to $15 per employeeOhio Small Business Development Center
OklahomaVaries by county$425 per year$1000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeOKC County Health Department
OregonVaries by countyVaries by county$400-$1000Up to $15 per employeeOregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
PennsylvaniaVaries by county$241 per year$15000-$25000Up to $15 per employeePennsylvania Liquor Control Board
Rhode IslandVaries by countyVaries by county$500-$2000Up to $15 per employee
South CarolinaVaries by county$200 per year$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeMobile Food Establishments
South DakotaVaries by county$75 per year$100-$250Up to $15 per employeeSouth Dakota Department of Health
TennesseeVaries by countyVaries by county$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeTennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission
TexasVaries by countyVaries by county$500-$2000Up to $15 per employee
UtahVaries by countyVaries by county$2000-$5000Up to $15 per employeeUtah DABS
VermontVaries by countyVaries by county$150-$500Up to $15 per employee
VirginiaVaries by county$40 per year$300-$1000Up to $15 per employeeDivision of Environmental Health
Washington$90Varies by county$400-$1000No cost, but security deposit may be requestedWashington State Liquor and Cannabis Board
West VirginiaVaries by county$125 per year$500-$2000Up to $15 per employeeWest Virginia Department of Health & Human Resources
WisconsinVaries by countyVaries by countyFees vary by municipalityUp to $15 per employee
WyomingVaries by countyVaries by county$500-$2000Up to $15 per employeeWyoming Department of Revenue
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Food Truck Regulations by State 2024