What do you Need to Run a Food Truck
Food marketing on the internet. This is Damian, and we're going to talk about some of the most typically required food truck permits and licenses, as well as what you might need to legally run your food truck, and we'll get started right now. Okay, my name is Damian, and I'm going to show you how to market food online. This is YouTube's leading food entrepreneur channel, with tidbits and information on how to establish a food business from home or in a professional kitchen, as well as how to get a retail food product into store shelves. We're going to speak about food trucks in this episode. We'll talk about the several types of food permits and licenses you might require for your food truck. You need to have that taco truck up and running as soon as possible.
And if you're shopping for a used food truck for sale and wondering, "Well, what kind of permits and licensing will I need if I purchase that?" That's what we're going to talk about right now, so let's get started. So, for starters, a business license is one of the most critical components of running any form of business, including a mobile food business like a food truck. This, of course, will be heavily dependent on the type of city and state in which you work. And it will be determined by the type of food truck you will have. And what I mean by that is that if you're going to make cater, if you're going to conduct catering jobs, if you're going to events, there will be different forms of business licenses granted by either the city or the county in which you live. So, when you're doing that, make sure you distinguish yourself in terms of the type of service you'll provide. In some places, in addition to the license fee, a percentage of the sales you make goes to the state or county, depending on where you live.
So that's something that a lot of food truck beginners aren't aware of if they're just getting started in the company, but it's not always just a yearly charge; it may also be a percentage of what you make annually. So, of course, a business license is one such license that you may require. Now, for the second one, if you're going to run a busy food truck, you won't be able to do it all by yourself, therefore you'll need people. The IRS has an identity number, which is the EIN, that you must use in order to lawfully operate and pay a small number of employees. That's an EIN, which stands for Employer Identification Number. As a result, as a business owner, you'll be able to ensure that you're paying your employees legally, filing taxes, and so on. So that's the number by which the IRS will identify you as a business owner. Now, keep in mind that this is something that you would need to do individually first with the company licensing to file for that EIN, because you know you'll have staff and some help on hand. As a result, you'll want to double-check that you've completed it.
Plus, you follow the rules laid down by the IRS and others when it comes to paying your staff. So make sure you do that when you're establishing your food truck, because you want to protect yourself. Now, another thing to bear in mind while you listen to the rest of this video is that local municipalities, such as towns and counties, will update and amend their laws from time to time. It's possible that some permits are no longer required. They'll examine those forms of permits and such for food operators and food truck operators on an annual basis. You may not have to renew them every year, or there may be a license that has been phased out. So double-check on an annual basis to make sure you're up to date on what's required in your area. The next one up, the car license, is going to be the next one. As a result, be sure that anyone is driving the car is lawfully licensed to do so. Because you are a business that is quote-unquote kind of on wheels, a restaurant on wheels, this is quite significant, especially when it comes to liability issues. As the owner, you may not have to drive all of the time.
You may have one of your employees drive the vehicle. However, you should be aware that in some circumstances and states, operating food trucks requires a commercial driver's license, something many novice food truck entrepreneurs are unaware of. They simply believe they can pick up their driver's license and get behind the wheel. Because of the size, certain states require a specialized license. It could be the vehicle's overall weight, length, or weight distribution. Doesn't always qualify as a regular driver's license. So keep in mind that you could need a special commercial license as well. Okay, so the next one is if you want to start a food truck or a food cart business, you may need, and some states and towns really demand, a food handlers permit. During the time that you're actually transacting business on the food truck, either you as the owner or operator or one of your staff, one of them must have that type of food safety class permit. That is something that is necessary in some states, but you should double-check with your state as well as your city or county. That could be a requirement. And it's a fairly straightforward permit to obtain. A large number of food handlers courses are now available online. It also doesn't come at a high price. And it's usually a one-time occurrence. You don't have to get it or renew it every year.
However, the fact that a food handler's license may be necessary is something you should be aware of. So there's another one you might not be aware of. The health department permit is the next permission on the list. This is pretty similar to the equipment that a restaurant is supposed to have. Of course, the health department inspects restaurants for cleanliness and the way they handle food, food preparation, and food storage, as you may or may not be aware. As a food truck, you are essentially a restaurant on wheels. As a result, you should be aware that your local health department, whether it is a municipal or county health agency, will require you to obtain that permission as well. Of course, in some states, the department with which you need to communicate will change. But, in a way, it'll be the health department because you're categorized in the same category as a mobile restaurant. So the health department is another permit you might or might not have considered when starting a food truck business. Last but not least, this is something that a number of my friends who launched a food truck were completely unaware of when they first started out, but they eventually had to address.
And it was something that they were made aware of. However, there are fire certificates. The local fire department will inspector will be required to inspect your food truck to ensure that the equipment, which is often not powered by electricity but rather by propane or gas, does not pose a fire hazard. As a result, the fire department would need to thoroughly verify the equipment on the vehicle to ensure that it is properly connected. Because, of course, you don't want to go to an event and then have an issue with your food truck, and God forbid, someone gets killed because it wasn't properly linked up. So the fire department will inspect everything as well, and once they've completed their inspection and determined that everything is in working order, they'll issue you a certificate.
So I wanted to make this video short, sweet, and to the point, and give you five pointers on how to handle the license and permission parts of a food truck. Of course, it differs slightly between states and localities, so double-check with your county or city first, then go over your state rules and regulations to be sure you're following them all. So, if you have any questions about food trucks, or if you're in the market to buy a used food truck and want to make sure that it's authentic, legal, and operating correctly, leave a comment down below, and I'll see you guys in the next episode.