Get your license
See the steps to get and maintain a license.
You can find information from the City about how to start a new business.
Meet with a Business Licensing customer service representative
Meet with a business licensing customer service representative to go over the requirements for your food license. Your business cannot open until you have your license.
Review the business license application
You must have a license to operate a food business in Minneapolis.
Request Sewer Availability Charge (SAC)
You may have to pay a fee for the waste water from your business.
About SAC fee application:
- Apply for your SAC fee early. This fee can be expensive.
- After you apply, the Met Council will send you a SAC determination letter in 10 to 15 days. This letter will tell you your SAC fee.
Find out if you qualify for the City's SAC deferral program for small businesses. Read about SAC basics
Complete a food plan review
You must submit plans for:
- A new food or alcohol business, including food carts, kiosks, and trucks
- Remodeling or expanding an existing food or alcohol business
- Replacing food equipment that requires gas, mechanical or plumbing permits for installation
- Adding ventless cooking equipment or ventless hoods
If you need to submit plans, they must be approved before you start any work.
Make a plan to have a Certified Food Protection Manager
Minnesota state law requires restaurants to have a Certified Food Protection Manager at each location. They must be on staff within 60 days of opening. Certification requires attending an approved food safety class and passing an exam.
Kitchen options include:
- Institutional kitchen: Churches, or other community institutions like schools, often have large, health-inspected kitchens that are not always in use. They may be willing to rent you space during off times.
- Restaurant kitchen: Some restaurants are willing to rent out their kitchen space during times when they are not open.
- Shared commercial kitchen: This can be a good option if you are looking for some additional business support in addition to kitchen space. Often, shared commercial kitchens are connected to business support organizations.
- Private commercial kitchen: If your operation is larger and you need a dedicated kitchen space you don’t have to share with anyone else, look into leasing out your own private commercial kitchen.
Gather documents you will need for your license application
The application may require documents, such as:
- A proposed menu
- A floor plan for your space
- Your food plan review
Submit all required documents and fees to your Development Coordinator
Upon document submittal, your Development Coordinator will forward your documents to the appropriate City departments for review and approval. They will be your main point of contact throughout the regulatory process.
Review and consider all requirements when starting your business.
Tell your new neighbors about your business
Contact your council member, neighborhood organization, and business association where your business will be located.
- Promote and create interest in your business
- Network with local residents and leaders
- Learn about resources they may offer small businesses
Send an email to your:
Be prepared for health inspections
Your first routine inspection will occur within 60 days of opening. We focus on food safety. Be sure to follow good food safety practices and regularly complete a self-inspection.
After you open
Find out what to do once your business is open and running.
Expand your business
The City offers financing to help you cover costs of expansion, such as equipment.
If you change equipment or add seating to your business, you may need to:
Renew your business license
Your business license must be renewed every April. We will send your renewal information in the mail 30 days before it is due.