FOOD TRUCKS: EVEN IF YOU ARE ROLLING, YOU ARE NOT BEYOND THE LAW

A public food service establishment is a building OR a vehicle where food is prepared, served, or sold for consumption at or near the establishment or as take out.

Yes, even food trucks are regulated by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), the Department of Health and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. DBPR’s Division of Hotels and Restaurants handles public food service establishments and vehicles that prepare and serve food to the public. Further, you should also check with your county or city to learn whether a local business tax receipt is required.

The regulations require that licensees have a License Location Address. According to reporters for NBC Miami, more than 150 mobile food dispensing vehicles use an address that is a very small warehouse space in Miami. This location serves as a state-approved commissary where food trucks can get drinkable water and dispose of dirty water and grease. The trucks must report to their commissary once a week.

As government administrative lawyers, we always assume everything is regulated, and you should too. Small businesses are often caught without licenses, permits or approvals, and the strict regulation of food trucks is just one of the examples. Be careful out there because it is a paperwork jungle and government is the tiger.


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