Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department
Link to OED Home Page Link to OED Home Page Link to OED About Us Page Link to OED Contact Us Page
Start, Grow, or Green Your Business Stephen H. Johnson, Director
Business Owners Business Districts Key Industries News and Resources
Business in Seattle
Starting a Business
Guide to Starting a Business
Economic Indicators
Business Income
Job Growth
Business start-ups and closures
Educational system performance
Income Distribution
Financial Support
Technical Assistance
Workforce Development
Licensing, Permits & Taxes
Doing Business with the City of Seattle
Additional Resources
Street-Food Vending
Environmental Programs
Conservation & Clean-up
Sustainable Building Resources
Economic Development Data and Resources
Site Selection
In Good Company
Links & Resources
Economic Development Partners
Small Business Resources
Environmental Assistance
Life Sciences & Technology
City of Seattle

Street-Food Vending

Street-Food Vending

What is Street-Food Vending?

  • A food cart on the sidewalk;
  • A vehicle from which food is prepared and served;
  • A mobile truck that drives through the city and vends on the sidewalk.

What do I need before operating a food cart or truck in the city of Seattle?

    Click here for a full checklist of requirements to operate a street-food business.

  1. Are you a registered business in the State of Washington? All businesses are required to register their trade name and obtain a state business license (or Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number) prior to operating in Washington state.

  2. Do you have a City of Seattle business license? Every food cart or truck vendor is required to have a City business license. Click here to apply online.

  3. Do you have a Mobile Food Unit Permit? or exemption from Public Health - Seattle & King County? A permit or exemption must be obtained from Public Health to operate a food vending cart or food vehicle in the city of Seattle. Note: All food vendors are required to be within 200 feet from a useable restroom.

    • Do you plan to operate a converted food truck? Washington State Department of Labor & Industries approval must be provided for food vehicles before Health Department plan review. Click here for more information.

  4. Are you planning on using liquid petroleum gas (i.e. Propane) or Open Flame (i.e. Wood or Charcoal) to prepare the food? A permit from the Seattle Fire Marshall is required for use of propane or an open flame. Click here for more information.

    • If you are using gas, have you inspected your compressed gas cylinders? click here for more information.

  5. Where would you like to vend?


What permits do I need?

Note: Street Use Permit and Mobile Food Unit Permit may be reviewed concurrently.


What permits do I need?


What permits do I need?


Helpful Links

Seattle Street Food Forum's Facebook page

For Truck's Sake - blog

SDOT Directors Rule Vending Design Guidelines

"Food Trucks for Dummies" - Eater