Requirements to Work an Ice Cream Truck

Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe

Operating a commercial ice cream truck can be a profitable retail venture. But like any food vendor, certain requirements need to be met before opening business. While laws will vary between states and cities, there are several common permits that you'll likely need to acquire.


Go to your Town or City Hall in the city in which you want to operate. They will have all the necessary permits and license applications needed to become a mobile ice cream vendor within city limits.


A van or truck that is licensed to carry food and is in good working condition will be required. Check the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state for specific vehicle codes and operating permits.


Other certifications may include a business license, food handler's certificate, health permit, insurance and ice cream vendor's permit.


A criminal background check may be necessary for you and anyone else operating the vehicle, and you may need to have an off-site storage facility for ice cream and other food novelties. In many states, commercial food products may not be stored in a private home.


Mobile ice cream vendors can do well if they get to know the community they're selling to. Paying attention to events such as little league sports and other neighborhood activities will increase the success of the operation.


About the Author

Nikki Jardin began freelance writing in 2009 and focuses on food and travel articles. She has been a professional cook and caterer for more than 20 years. She holds a degree in environmental science from Humboldt State University.

Photo Credits

  • Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe