How to Get a Hot Dog Cart License

Written by thomas mcnish
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How to Get a Hot Dog Cart License
Get your hot dog stand licensed and begin selling. (hot dog image by dinostock from

Running a hot dog stand can be a fun and potentially profitable business. But before you can run any type of business, you will need to get certain permits first. Hot dog cart license requirements vary from state to state and even city to city, so you'll need to check with your local officials for specifics, but there are general guidelines to follow. So if you have your stand and you are ready to open, the last step is getting your license.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Choose your hot dog stand's location. This is not only crucial for your potential business profit, but it can also change the types of licenses required. In some cities, spots are already full of vendors, so you won't be allowed in. It's also possible that the city does not allow vendors of any kind in certain areas. Before you do anything, select a location along with two or three backup locations.

  2. 2

    Contact your local police department, tell them that you intend to set up a hot dog stand and request a mobile food server's permit. This may also be given by city or county officials, depending on where you live. If the police department does not issue this permit, they should notify you whom to contact.

  3. 3

    Become familiar with your city and state's health requirements for hot dog carts. Some places require a certain number of sinks, while others require a certain number of garbage cans nearby.

  4. 4

    Contact your local county public health department. Say that you are setting up a hot dog cart and that you need a health inspection. This is the second permit required for vendors. Set up an inspection time and get your permit so you can get on your way to selling hot dogs.

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