- You will not need to fill out a restaurant application if you are serving alcohol.
- Approval of your license may take 8-10 weeks.
- You may need a public hearing. Your license inspector will schedule this.
Find your license inspector
- Nightclubs and adult entertainment businesses are only allowed in downtown.
Restaurant serving alcohol
See the rules for a restaurant or bar that prepares food and serves liquor, wine or beer to customers.
Get your license
See the steps to get and maintain a license.
Before you begin
You can find out the basics of how to start a business and apply for a license.
Meet with a Business Licensing inspector
Meet with a business licensing inspector to go over the requirements for your on-sale liquor, wine or beer license. Your business cannot open until you have your license.
Review the business license application
You must have a license to operate an on-sale liquor, wine or beer 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.
Tell your new neighbors about your business
You must contact your council member, neighborhood organization, and business association.
- 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:
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.
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 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
Review and consider all requirements when starting your business.
Review employment and business resources.
- Alcohol service
- Employee training
- Managing your business
- Sample employee agreement
- Sample employee policy
Green To Go
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
Read more about required 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.
You may apply for a permit to temporarily:
- Expand your premises
- Stay open late
- Offer additional entertainment
Expand your business
The City offers financing to help you cover costs of expansion, such as equipment. Contact your Development Coordinator who can guide you through city requirements.
If you change equipment or add seating to your business, you may need to:
- Update your SAC determination
- Submit a new food plan
- Get an additional license
Changes to your owners
If you change owners, officers, shareholders, or managers, you must update your records.
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.