This will most definitely vary based on the exact location in Florida where you intend to conduct your business; however, the total initial cost will more or less span within a few hundred dollars, including a $50 processing fee. Have it in mind that the DBPR makes available a convenient cost estimator tool to ensure that you can fully prepare yourself for the whole process.

Truth be told, the laws and regulations concerning food truck businesses in the Sunshine State tend to vary depending on your location in the state.

Owing to that, to ensure that your business stays in line with these regulations you will have to obtain almost the same permits as restaurants. This will more or less include a business license, food handler’s permits for every worker, as well as a seller’s permit.

If your intention is to prepare food in your truck, then note that you will have to apply to the DBPR. The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) is tasked with overseeing food trucks that choose to sell single-use items to patrons.

Single-use items are more or less pre-packaged foods or specific processed food items such as coffees, candies, or popcorn. Note that trucks that offer these foods are expected to meet certain requirements, such as storing food products in a commissary instead of a private residence as well as only buying products from approved sources.

Regardless of the agency you are applying to, have it in mind that you may be required to submit your food truck for an inspection to guarantee that it meets all stipulated standards for health, safety, and operational abilities. Aside from that, you may be required to obtain certain health and food processing permits, although this will vary depending on your menu offerings. Consider starting all registration processes earlier as they usually take time.

Permits and Licenses Needed to Start a Food Truck in Florida

Regardless of your intentions of opening your food truck business in Florida, note that food trucks in Florida are expected to obtain specific licenses and permits to operate. These permits and licenses include;

  1. Business License

This is without doubt one of the most important licenses to obtain when looking to start a Food truck business anywhere in the sunshine state. Also referred to as a business tax certificate, this license indicates that your business is properly registered with the appropriate government authority and that you are compliant during tax season.

How to Apply in Florida

In the sunshine state, business licenses are regulated and issued by the city or county you intend to conduct business. To obtain this license for your food truck in Florida, you will have to present:

  • An EIN
  • Select a business structure or entity
  • Register your business name
  • An address and phone number,
  • A COI for your business insurance policy
  1. Mobile Food Facility Permit

A mobile food facility permit is that proof you need to guarantee that the space where you plan to prepare and/or serve food has been verified to be in line with local food safety and worker safety standards. In the sunshine state, have it in mind that food trucks cannot operate without first obtaining this permit.

How to Apply in Florida

Note that where you are in the sunshine will most definitely dictate the process necessary to obtain this license. Aside from that, your menu options, how they are prepared, as well as how they are sold will influence the necessary requirements you have to meet to obtain this license.

Also, note that the kind of cooking done in your truck and the amount of preparation necessary before you can serve customers will impact the processes you have to take. Nevertheless, to ensure that your application is approved, you will be expected to prove that you are creating a safe and non-hazardous work environment for your employees, as well as offering very safe meals to your patrons.

  1. Food Seller’s Permit

Have it in mind that any business that sells tangible products will be expected to obtain this permit. This permit is what proves that you are authorized to charge sales tax on the foods you sell. Food trucks are known to sell food and drinks, which are also classified as tangible goods, as such this permit is very necessary.

How to Apply in Florida

To apply for this permit, you will have to register online via the SBA License and Permits portal.

  1. Public Health Permit

In most jurisdictions in the sunshine state, food trucks are mandated to complete a Public Health Permit/License application as a food vendor. Note that failure to obtain this license entails going foul of the Florida Health and Safety Code, and could give rise to sanctions that will cripple your business.

How to Apply in Florida

To obtain this permit, complete the application from your local public health department, get your facility ready for inspection, as well as review every food safety requirement. Note that immediately after you’ve scaled through inspection, you will then be granted your public health permit.

  1. Employee Health Permit (also known as a Food Handlers License)

A food service license, most often known as an employee health permit, is what gives food trucks permission to safely sell food onsite. This license is meant to guarantee that each and every worker in your truck understands their role. They’re often known as ServSafe, after the company that administers most food handlers’ tests.

How to Apply in Florida

In the sunshine state, every worker in a Food truck charged with preparing food will have to obtain this permit, at least within 30 days of being hired. However, if managers have previously obtained their Food Protection Manager Certification, they’re exempt from obtaining this permit.

Also note that a good number of cities and counties in the sunshine state have their own food safety training programs and standards, as such they’re considered exempt from mandating workers to obtain a Florida Food Handler card. Have it in mind that to obtain this permit or card, your workers will be expected to pass a test regarding food safety and preparation with a grade of at least 70% (or higher in some counties).


The cost to receive your license or permit will vary based on the exact location in Florida where you intend to conduct business; however, the total initial costs will span within a few hundred dollars, including a $50 processing fee.

Aside from the above permits and licenses, food trucks will be expected to comply with food safety ordinances, OSHA regulations, appropriate waste disposal guidelines, driving laws, public health rules, tax laws, regulations regarding food temperature control (coupled with running water), parking regulations, drivers license laws, liquor laws, and much more.