Food truck

Learn what you need to know to operate a food truck in Minneapolis.


A food truck prepares or sells (or both) food from a motorized vehicle or trailer.

Rules for food trucks

  • Trucks can park curbside or on private property.
  • Food preparation and storing must occur at a licensed commercial kitchen in Minneapolis.
food truck

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.

See how to get help at the City of Minneapolis service center

Review the business license application

You must have a license to operate a food business in Minneapolis.

See the food truck application

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

See the City food truck and food cart requirements

Purchase your vehicle and equipment

Review the vehicle plan standards on the business license application for the requirements of a mobile food vehicle. 

See food truck vehicle requirements

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. 

Find more information about food plan review 

See the State of Minnesota mobile food truck requirements

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. 

See the Certified Food Protection Manager requirements

Licensed kitchens

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
  • Insurance

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

More information

Review and consider all requirements when starting your business.

See information about your operating 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:

See a sample letter

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:

  • Reusable
  • Recyclable or
  • Compostable

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. 

Read about food safety

After you open

Find out what to do once your business is open and running.

See information about your operating your business

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.

View the City's Business Licensing Renewal Process video

Call 311 if you have questions. They will connect you with the right person at the City.

Contact 311

Request accessible format

If you need help with this information, please email 311, or call 311 or 612-673-3000.

Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.

Contact us

Small Business Team

Community Planning & Economic Development




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 320
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Business Licenses & Consumer Services

Community Planning & Economic Development






Public Service Building 
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 220
Minneapolis, MN 55415