Get your license
See the steps to get and maintain a license.
You can find information from the City about:
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.
Decide what kind of mobile food unit you need
Minneapolis has licenses for food trucks and food carts. We have different requirements for:
- The types of food that can be served
- Where they can operate in Minneapolis
Purchase your vehicle and equipment
Review the vehicle plan standards on the business license application for the requirements of a mobile food vehicle.
Complete 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.
You must prepare food in a Minneapolis licensed kitchen. 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.
Gather documents you will need for your license application
The application may require documents, such as:
- A proposed menu
- A vehicle diagram and a site plan
- Your food plan review form
- Vehicle inspection
Submit all required documents and fees to Business Licensing
Submit your application to Business Licenses & Consumer Services by email, by U.S. mail or in person at the City of Minneapolis service center
If you have questions, contact 311 or Business Licenses
Review and consider all requirements when starting your business.
Tell your new neighbors about your business
- Contact area leaders where your business will be located:
- Council member
- Neighborhood organization
- Business association
- Network with local residents and leaders
- Learn about resources they may offer small businesses
Send an email to your:
Green To Go
Read more about required containers
Minneapolis has rules about containers for prepared food. Food and beverages that are meant to be eaten immediately off-site or taken to-go must be put in containers that are:
- Recyclable or
You must dispose of containers properly:
- Recycle recyclable containers
- Compost compostable containers
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, 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.
Call 311 if you have questions. They will connect you with the right person at the City.