Restaurant or coffee shop

We explain what you need to know to open a restaurant or coffee shop in Minneapolis.


A restaurant prepares food and beverages for customers for on-site dining, carry out or delivery.

We require a license for:

  • Coffee shops
  • Delicatessens
  • Fast food restaurants
  • Sit-down restaurants

If you plan to serve liquor, wine or beer, complete an alcohol license application. You will not need to fill out a restaurant application if you are serving alcohol. 

person sits at cafe patio with laptop

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.

Tips for opening your 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.

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 restaurant application

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.  

Apply online for 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. 

Find more information about food plan review

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

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

Contact 311 or Business Licenses if you have questions.

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 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:

See a sample letter

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:

  • Reusable
  • Recyclable or
  • Compostable

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. 

Read about food safety

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.

View the City's Business Licensing Renewal Process video

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