Mobile Food Vending

What is mobile food vending?streetFoodVendors

  • A food cart on the sidewalk
  • A vehicle used to prepare and serve food
  • A truck that drives through the city and vends on the sidewalk

What do I need to operate a mobile food business in Seattle?

Review the checklist of requirements and consider these questions:

  1. Are you a registered business in the State of Washington? All businesses are required to register their trade name and obtain a state business license (or Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number) prior to operating in Washington state.
  2. Do you have a City of Seattle business license? Every food cart or truck vendor is required to have a City business license. Apply online.
  3. Do you have a Mobile Food Unit Permit or exemption from Public Health – Seattle & King County? A permit or exemption must be obtained from Public Health to operate a food vending cart or food vehicle in the city of Seattle. Note: All food vendors are required to be within 200 feet from a usable restroom.
  4. Do you plan to operate a converted food truck? Washington State Department of Labor & Industries approval must be provided for food vehicles before Health Department plan review. Get information on food trucks and trailers.
  5. Are you planning on using liquid petroleum gas (propane) or and open flame (wood or charcoal) to prepare the food? A permit from the Seattle Fire Marshall is required for use of propane or an open flame. Get information on Fire Department permits.
  6. Where would you like to vend?

Helpful Links

Seattle Food Truck: Where the Trucks Are

SDOT Director’s Rule – Vending Design Guidelines

“Food Trucks for Dummies” – Eater