How to Become a Food & Beverage Concessions Vendor


There is a process you must undergo to apply for a vendor’s license and get your permit. Whether you plan to be a food concession vendor who offers beverages as well as food, or strictly a beverage concession vendor, your vendor cart or sales area must pass health inspections. You may also need to take a course in food preparation and safe handling instruction for food and beverage vendors.

Contact the state agency that issues sales tax permits. Use the tax identification number they issue to you as you pay the state sales tax you collect from sales at your concession stand.

Visit the county or city clerk’s office or official website to obtain a copy of the business permit application. Fill out the necessary information, such as the name of your business, your name, phone number, address, what you plan to sell, hours of business and other basic information. Sign and date all documents. Submit them to the proper agency along with any permit fees.

Fill out a food concession vendor or beverage concession vendor license application with the city or county clerk as well. In some locations, the business permit is all that is necessary, but other locations require the separate vendor’s license. Sign and date the document and submit any additional fees for the concession permit.

Attend a food preparation training course offered by the county health department. Submit proof of attendance along with your request for a health inspection of your concession stand.

Select a location for your booth. Determine who owns the spot. Find out whether you must pay rent to the owner or whether it’s on public property. If you are paying rent for the concession stand, ask who pays for electrical and sewage utilities. To set up on public property, obtain special permission from the local government.

Determine what your responsibilities are regarding liability insurance. Consult your insurance agent or a lawyer.

Purchase the items you plan to sell at your concession stand from a wholesaler. Prepare and store any foodstuffs and beverages following safe handling practices.

Open your concession business once you have all permits and inspections completed.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some municipalities issue a limited number of concession permits each year. There may be a long waiting list before get your application approved.

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