Q: Do you need a permit from the city I sell frozen ice cream treats from a mobile cart? If so, what department do I apply for one?
— Michelle, Burnt Hills, NY
A: Many people chose to enter the ice cream industry through ice cream vending with either an ice cream truck or cart. Street vending is less expensive than opening your own ice cream shop, however there are still the headaches of obtaining permits and licenses. However, one thing is for sure.
Getting a permit for selling packaged ice cream and novelties is considerably easier than getting a permit to sell ice cream you make.
It is difficult to say what exact permits or licenses are required in general because it varies for every state.
To find out what your individual state requires, contact your state government’s website and search for business licensing.
There are also different forms and background checks that have to be performed in order to get your ice cream vending license.
In Colorado, for example, a person must display their vendor’s license on either their clothing or around their neck. In order to be issued a vendor’s license, a complete criminal history check and finger printing session must be completed. The person must also fill out an application form and individual history form. If the person is driving an ice cream truck, it must be inspected by Environmental Health and have a motor vehicle record. The application and license fees total only $75.00, which is quite affordable.
However, as I mentioned before all states vary so it important to check with your local city and state government. Visit your town hall and ask about the laws regarding ice cream vending for your town. You can also search online at your state government’s website and search business licensing to discover the requirements and processes in applying for an ice cream street vending license.