Event food sponsor permit

You need this permit to host an event that provides food or beverages to the public.


Public events

Most events are public events, including ticketed events.

Your event is a public event if general members of the public can do either of the following:

  • Purchase tickets
  • Attend for free

Private events

Private events are those that only a pre-defined group of people are invited to or can attend. Examples:

  • Family reunions
  • Club or team celebrations
  • Employee appreciation dinners

Private events do not require food permits.

If you need help determining if your event is public or private, contact 311 and ask for a Health Inspector with the events permit team.

Contact 311


If you are organizing a public event in Minneapolis where food or beverages will be sold or given away, you will need an Event Food Sponsor Permit.

This includes sampling (marketing) of food or beverage products, or both.

Selling or giving away food or beverages without a permit will result in closure and a fine.


Photo credit: Meet Minneapolis

outdoor food event

Sponsoring a public event

Event food sponsors

During the summer months, Minneapolis hosts many events that require approval. We encourage Event Food Sponsors to turn in all applications and fees as early as possible to ensure plenty of time for review and approval.

Event Food Sponsors must:

  • Complete all sections of the Event Food Sponsor Permit application
  • List all vendors taking part

As the Event Food Sponsor, you may also provide food or beverages or both.

Complete your own Short Term Food Permit application. List your organization or business name used on that permit in the FREE vendor line of the Event Food Sponsor Permit application.

The Event Food Sponsor must submit the following applications and fees to Minneapolis Environmental Health at least two weeks before the event:

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 



Applications must be received at least two weeks before your event begins. Your application is late if the City receives it less than two weeks before your event begins.

Event food sponsor permit

  • $95 for an event with 1 to 10 food or beverage vendors
  • $185 for an event with 11 - 20 food or beverage vendors
  • $275 for an event with 21+ or more food or beverage vendors
  • Events at the Minneapolis Convention Center are half of the standard fee
  • Fees are doubled for late applications

Short-term food permit

  • $95 for public events in the City of Minneapolis
  • $47.50 for public events at the Minneapolis Convention Center
  • Fees are doubled for late applications

Seasonal food permit

  • $245 for an annual Seasonal Food Permit (April 1 - March 31)

Payment options

We must receive applications and payments:

  • Two weeks prior to the event start date, or late fees will apply.
  • More than two business days prior to the event, or your event may not be approved or could be restricted.

Pay by mail: You can pay fees by check via mail. Make checks payable to: Minneapolis Finance

Pay in person: When paying in person, you can pay by check, cash or credit card.

Pay by phone: You can pay fees by credit card.  City staff will call you to get your payment information.

Exempt events

Minnesota exempts several food events or food vendors from licensing and permitting requirements.

The exemptions are very specific. People using any of the following exemptions must make sure they:

  • Meet the qualifications listed in the State exemption
  • Follow through on all requirements

Possible permitting exemptions include:

  • Faith-based organizations 
  • Chili or soup cook-offs for non-profit fundraisers
  • Bake sales by non-profit senior citizen organizations
  • Potluck not sponsored by a licensed establishment other than a school

The Minnesota Revisor of Statues Office provides a full list of exemptions.

View exemption details from the State of Minnesota

Food vendor materials

Your vendors can use our checklist and guidelines to have a successful event:

Find more food safety resources from the Health Department

Vendor lists

The City has lists of licensed vendors. You can use these lists as a resource to find vendors for your events.

If you have a question about a list, contact the Health Department. Ask to speak with a health inspector on the food permit team.

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


Minneapolis Health Department

Environmental Health Permit






Make payment in person at:

Public Service Building
Minneapolis Service Center
505 Fourth Ave. S., Skyway level
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Mail a payment to:

Minneapolis Environmental Health
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415


Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday