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How to Get Your Mobile Food Vendor License in Columbus

Running a food truck or a similar mobile food business is not as simple as setting up shop in a parking lot. There are several steps that mobile food vendors must take to obtain their official license to operate in the City of Columbus. The guide below contains all the information you need to get your mobile food operation up and running. 


Step 1: Get your Application Documents Together 

To apply for your Mobile Food Vendor License, you’ll need to bring the following items to the Department of Safety License Section, located at 4252 Groves Rd, Columbus, OH 43232 

  1. Proof of Identity.  

    1. A state issued driver’s license or I.D. card, a military I.D., or a passport. 

  1. Valid vehicle or trailer registration.  

    1. This is the registration for the vehicle or trailer that houses your food operations. 

  1. A certificate of insurance for valid commercial liability insurance.  

    1. The License Section, 4252 Groves Rd, Columbus, OH 43232, must be listed as the Certificate Holder. 

    2. Minimum of $300,000 for pushcarts and pedi-carts 

    3. Minimum of $1,000,000 for trucks and trailers 

  1. A letter of good standing. 

    1. This letter should be obtained from the City of Columbus Department of Income Tax. 

    2. Visit the CRISP (Columbus Revenue Information Service Portal) website here to apply online. You can contact the CRISP help line Monday through Friday at (614) 645-8899 from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. 

  1. State of Ohio Transient Vendor’s License.  

    1. This is only required if your business sells taxable items such as soda, shirts, or drinks containing less than 50% vegetable or fruit juice by volume. If this applies to your business, you can contact the Ohio Taxpayer Services Division at 888-405-4089. 

  1. The State of Ohio Health Food Service License or Health Inspection Form.  

    1. Contact Columbus Public Health at 614-645-6741 to request your inspection. Columbus Health must receive your inspection payment prior to your inspection. 

    2. If you live outside of the City of Columbus, contact the Health Office for the county where you reside

  1. Background check affidavit.  

    1. Only needed if you intend to operate in the public right-of-way or streets, sidewalks, etc. that are owned by the City of Columbus. If your operation will only be on private property, you can skip this document. 

    2. Complete the form on page 6 of the application

 

Step 2: Submit Application & Fees 

Submitting Your Application Materials 

Bring your completed Mobile Food Vendor Application, along with the other required documents listed above, to the License Section in order to complete your background check and to be scheduled for your required Fire & License Section Inspections. You can complete your BCI Background Check at the License Section or at an Authorized WebCheck Agency. Results must be mailed directly by the WebCheck agency to the License Section at 4252 Groves Rd, Columbus, OH 43232. 

All the required items above must be included in your application, or you will be denied. The License office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm. For your convenience, there is a secure drop box to drop off applications, payments, and any other documentation after hours. You will find it on the right side of the employee entrance, under the gray awning on the south side of the building. The box is checked every morning during the work week. 

Once all paperwork, including BCI results have been obtained, verified, approved and your payments have been received, your license will be emailed to you. 


Permit Fees 

You will need to pay the various permit costs associated with becoming a Mobile Food Vendor in Columbus, including payments up front and payments upon approval.  


Fees to be paid up front: 

  • The application fee ($20.00) 

  • The BCI Background Check fee completed at the License Section ($32.00) 


Fees to be paid upon approval: 

  • The Mobile Food Vending License fee ($180.00) 

  • The Mobile Food Vending Public Right-of-Way License fee ($250) 

  • Optional – Unit must be under 25’ for a truck or trailer and 9’ for a pushcart 


Step 3: Your Permit’s Been Accepted – Now What? 

If you plan to operate your mobile food business on private property, review the required information requested by the License Section on page 7 in the application. 

If you receive your Public Right-of-Way (PROW) license, you can access the StreetFoodFinder booking system to book designated PROW spots in Columbus. Sign up here.  

 

We hope that this comprehensive guide helps you fulfill your journey to becoming a licensed Columbus Mobile Food Vendor. If you still have questions, be sure to check the License Section page on the City of Columbus website or contact the Department of Public Safety at (614) 645-8366. 

 

The information in this blog post has been adapted from the City of Columbus Department of Public Safety January 2024. 

 

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3 comentários


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Craig Huffman
Craig Huffman
26 de abr.

This guide is a goldmine for anyone interested in starting a food truck in Columbus. It's great to see the city providing such thorough support for aspiring entrepreneurs!

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