Obtaining a catering license is a requirement when starting a catering business. Having a catering license indicates that you are following your state’s guidelines and ensures customers you are preparing and transporting the food safely and properly.


According to Minneapolis Environmental Health and Food Safety, “A catering license is needed if the food is delivered and served on site to customers, or if food is delivered in multi-use utensils that will be returned for re-use.” This includes all businesses that prepare food for distribution and sale including licensed food establishments, caterers, churches and schools.

Obtain a License

The Small Business Administration recommends that you contact your state licensing authorities to determine the requirements of your catering business. Contact your local SBA office for licensing information or contact your local courthouse to find out where to obtain a catering license in your area.


To be approved for a catering license, follow the written requirements provided by your state’s Department of Health or Department of Agriculture. Compliance with these regulations and proper food-handling practices will help prevent food-borne illnesses.