Community Planning & Economic Development

Business Licenses & Consumer Services
350 S. 5th Street, Room 1
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 673-2080
Fax: (612) 673-3399

Monday through Thursday
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Friday 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

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Mobile Food Vehicle Vendors

This page provides a brief summary of the City of Minneapolis business license requirements. It is intended to educate our business partners on some of the ways to protect your business from common license violations.


  1. Mobile Food Vehicle Vendor: A self-contained truck or trailer used to prepare and serve food that is readily movable without disassembling.
  2. Limited Mobile Food Vendor: A vehicle from which prepackaged items such as ice cream, pop and candy are sold.
  3. Mobile Food Cart: A non-motorized push cart that sells prepackaged or ready-to-eat foods on public sidewalks in downtown.

Business Requirements

  1. Obtain City of Minneapolis Mobile Food Vehicle Vendor license.
  2. Must have use of a commercial kitchen located in Minneapolis.
  3. No external signage, bollards, seating or any other equipment not contained within the vehicle.
  4. No sound amplifying equipment, televisions, lights or noisemakers.
  5. Generator must be self-contained and screened from view.
  6. Operate a minimum of 150 days if located downtown.
  7. Clean all litter and garbage.
  8. Follow orders of police officer, traffic control agent or regulatory services inspector.
  9. Vehicle height may not exceed 10’ on sidewalks or 13.5’ on street or parking lot.


  1. Nicollet Mall
    • 11 pre-approved sites
    • Vehicle cannot be larger than 8 ft. X 10 ft.
    • Cannot set up or move vehicles between 7:00-9:00 a.m. and 4:00-5:30 p.m.
  2. Public Sidewalks
    • Must be approved by the Department of Public Works
  3. Streets
    • First come first served basis
    • Must comply with all ordinances
    • Must pay meter(s)
    • May occupy two metered parking spaces
    • Trailers may be detached while parked
    • Cannot reserve metered parking by blocking spaces
  4. Bus Lanes on Marquette and 2nd Ave
    • First come first served basis
    • May only operate in designated areas
    • Hours of operation 10:00 a.m. -2:00 p.m.
    • Must display obstruction permit from Public Works
    • Only one vendor per block
  5. Parking lots
    • Only one vendor per lot
    • Ingress/egress only through existing driveway openings
    • Must obtain written consent from lot owner
  6. Designated areas outside downtown
  7. Park Board property must also obtain a park permit

Cannot Operate Within

  1. 100 feet of a restaurant with direct access to sidewalk or sidewalk café on the same block face
  2. 500 feet of any festival or civic event
  3. 500 feet of an entrance to a regional sports facility
  4. 200 feet of park board property unless permit is obtained

Hours of Operation

  1. 6:00am to 12am midnight
  2. 6:00am to 10:00pm if the located within 300 feet of a residential building.

Short-Term Food Permits

A short-term food permit is required if operating at a community based event.

What Happens if You Are in Violation?

  1. In certain circumstances, administrative citations can be issued on the first violation.
  2. Expect a letter, telephone call or visit from a License Inspector describing the complaint or violation.
  3. Take this notice seriously. Call your Inspector for information or solutions.
  4. Failure to comply with violation orders may result in citations, fines, suspensions, and revocation of your license to operate.

A complete set of requirements may be found in the Minneapolis Code of Ordinances (MCO):

Questions? Give us a call: (612) 673-2080 or 311
For reasonable accommodations, or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf, or hard of hearing, can use a relay service to call 311 at (612) 673-3000.
TTY users can call (612) 673-2157 or (612) 673-2626.
Para asistencia (612) 673-2700. Yog xav tau kev pab hu (612) 637-2800. Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay (612) 673-3500.


Last updated Feb 26, 2019



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For reasonable accommodations or alternative formats, contact 311.
People who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to call 311 at 612-673-3000.
TTY users can call 612-673-2157 or 612-673-2626.

Para asistencia 612-673-2700, Yog xav tau kev pab, hu 612-637-2800, Hadii aad Caawimaad u baahantahay 612-673-3500. 

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