What type of a vending license is required to operate a food vending business?
This is an important question, as a license is required to operate a food establishment in all states. Getting a license is not hard to do. There are a few simple rules you must follow and they are really common sense rules.
We are going to talk about the types of license that are needed in the state of Iowa to operate a food vending company. I am sure the laws are similar from one state to another.
When you start dealing with a government agency you will have to keep yourself motivated. Most government agencies are there to help small businesses and if you enter the project of obtaining a license with a good attitude you will find workers that are willing to help you.
Food vending license falls under the category of the health inspector in the state of Iowa.
The logical place to start is the phone book under government and then look for the heading of health inspector. Another place to start is at your county court house.
Once the initial contact has been made an appointment will be set up for them to come inspect your warehouse.
The Warehouse Inspection
The inspector will be looking for a clean warehouse. They also will be looking for any signs of rodents.
The door in your facility will be inspected to see if daylight can be seen around the edges of the door. If daylight can be seen the inspector knows that this is an area rodents and insects can enter your facility.
They will also want to check any refrigeration unit you have both in your warehouse and in your vehicles. The refrigeration must be kept between 34 to 40 degrees farenheit. Freezers should be kept at zero degrees.
Any violations you have will be written down and you will be expected to make changes to bring your facility up to the health board standards.
If there are any major problems the inspector will come back to inspect your facility at a later date giving you time to fix the problem.
I have never had an inspector that was not ready to help me understand just what they expected from me.
An inspection is not something to fear but something you will want to prepare for and if any problems are found be prepared to take care of them.
Machine Field Vending License Inspection
In the state of Iowa, inspectors want to inspect the equipment you have at your customer’s location. I have had them inspect every piece of equipment I had on location but in most instances they will do a sampling of the equipment.
They will be looking at the cleanliness of your equipment. They will pay special attention to the cold food machines, as this is the major health concern.
As long as they find your refrigerated units to be at the proper temperature the inspection will go well.
In Iowa the inspections do have a cost associated to them, but this is a minimal cost and no more than covers the time the inspector spends on your inspection.
Sales Tax License
You will also need a sales tax permit and you can apply for one at the local courthouse. They are not hard to obtain but you will want to find out what items you sell that you will need to pay sales tax on.
In the state of Iowa the law has many different twists where some foods are taxable and some are not taxable. I hope that the state you reside in is a little clearer in this matter than the state of Iowa is.
Vending License Conclusion
Once you have made up your mind to go into business, you have a location for your warehouse, now is the time to inspect it yourself.
Make sure you cannot see daylight around any of your doors. Make sure your refrigeration is working properly and then make that call to the health inspector’s office.
You will find that they will be willing to work with you on any problems you may have with your facility.
Apply for a sales tax permit.
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