Mobile food service business permit
Follow the 3-Step Plan Review process to get a permit
Mobile Food Establishments include food carts, trailers, and trucks as well as food kiosks. Before constructing, remodeling, or changing ownership; mobile food establishment owners must submit plans for review and approval.
Step 1: Mobile food service plan guide
Checklists covering every area of your business.
- Plan review process for mobile food service operation
The Mobile Food Service Plan Guide is tailored for establishments which serve food from food vehicles, espresso carts and kiosks. It includes a checklist of items you will need to review and include in your final plans to ensure that you've covered every area of your food business.
Step 2: Mobile plan review application
Submit an application for a Plans Examiner to review the proposed plan for your business.
Once you complete your final plans of how your establishment will be set up for business according to the Plan Guide in Step 1, you will need to submit them for review along with the Plan Review Application.
Step 3: Mobile food service permit application
After your business plan has been approved by a Plans Examiner in Step 2, the final step is to apply for a mobile food service business permit.
- Application to operate a mobile food unit/commissary
Mobile Food Unit/Commissary businesses use this application. This is the permit that allows you to operate and open for business to the public.
- Information for mobile food establishments within Seattle city limits (external site)
Contact a Plans Examiner for questions about Food Service Plans ONLY. Plans Examiners cannot respond to questions about Temporary Event Permits or Farmers Markets. Contact the Plans Examiner serving the area of King County where your mobile food establishment is located as noted below.
For businesses located within the cities of Burien, Seattle, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Vashon Island, and Unincorporated King County (Skyway and White Center only):
- Pat Murphy: 206-263-8484 or 206-263-9566
- John Shin: 206-263-8531 or 206-263-9566
For businesses located elsewhere in King County (cities not listed above) and in Unincorporated King County, please contact:
- Mike Bratcher: 206-477-8144 or 206-477-8050
- Diane Agasid: 206-263-2157 or 206-477-8050
- Food Worker Card
All employees of a mobile food establishment are required to obtain a Washington State Food Worker Card. You can take the class and test conveniently online or go to any of our in-person classes.
- Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan applications:
- List of important agency contacts
You may need to contact several local agencies to find out what you need to do to complete your Food Business Plan including the Fire Department, Building Department, business licensing, liquor permits, sewage hookups, etc. Most agencies have an information specialist who can answer your specific questions. Which agencies you need to contact will depend on your particular business.
- Request for variance from the food code
- Risk-based inspection program
Description of the three different risk type categories that can be assigned to a food service establishment.
- Risk levels and permit classifications
Permits are now based on risk levels determined by type of food and preparation steps. This information will assist you in determining what food permit to apply for and obtain. The more complex the menu and preparation of foods, the higher the risk level, which in turn relates to more frequent inspection of your establishment.
- Restaurant Success
For restaurant entrepreneurs in Seattle or for those thinking of becoming one from the Seattle Office of Economic Development.
- King County Board of Health (BOH) food codes
If you wish to reference the detailed Food Codes for King County, click on the link above and view BOH Titles 5, R5, 6 and R6 as they pertain to food service establishments.
- Washington State Retail Food Code