Operating A Food Truck in Multiple Jurisdictions

If you plan to operate your food truck in multiple jurisdictions, there are many things to consider and keep track of. For example, health department permits, in some states one health department permit is required, in others you may need a specific health department permit for each county you operate in.

Laura Collier, Esq. is a food & beverage attorney based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Laura is a longtime member of the food & beverage industry, including experience working with wine & beer retail, restaurants, alcohol distribution, and event planning.

In this CLE clip, Laura discusses Operating A Food Truck in Multiple Jurisdictions.

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The municipal rules in each location you want to operate in will need to be followed as well. You will need to find out if any of the municipalities require a business privilege license, in addition to any specialized food truck license requirements. The corporate entity that you operate under will need to be registered with the Secretary of State in which you plan to operate. If you are operating across state lines, you will need to find out if you are required to register as a foreign corporation, which is likely in most cases.

If your corporate name is different than the name you operate under, you might need to file assume name, or doing business as (DBA) forms in every city, or county in which you operate. Sales and use tax will differ quite a bit from county to county, or city to city. You will need to keep accurate track of where you make your sales, so you can collect and pay the proper sales taxes.

An Example of Unique Municipal Rules

New Your City
Limited number of permits available: only 3,100 permits available for mobile food vendors.
Locations: Food trucks may not park at metered spots, and there is a list of streets restricted during certain dates/times.

Proximity Rules: minimum of 200 feet from a restaurant entrance.
Private Property: allowed, if zoned properly, the lot is not vacant, and the stop is not more than two hours.
Public Streets: stops may not exceed more than two hours.