Concession stands in Ohio are found at local festivals, markets and seasonal events. Concession stands may be run by individuals once or twice to sell homemade products and treats, or may be part of a larger business that uses concession stands to conduct sales and market a company. Whether the concession stand is seasonal or part of a business strategy, the owner of the stand must follow concession stand rules and regulations in Ohio.

Concession Stand License

According to Ohio laws and regulations pertaining to concession stands, no individual is allowed to operate a concession stand without a license approved by the director of agriculture. This is true for both concession stand owners who operate continuously throughout the fiscal year, and for those operating a concession stand once at an event. The license covers all concession stands at all fairs and events in the state of Ohio. As of June 2011, the concession stand licensing fee is $70, payable to the director of agriculture.

Vendor’s License

A concession stand owner may require a vendor’s license if the concession stand sells tangible objects, as identified by the state of Ohio. These licenses are obtained from the county auditor’s office where the concession stand business is located. The processing fee is $25, as of June 2011, and temporary concession stand owners must file for a temporary license for $5. It is valid in 20 days from the application date. If a business travels all over the state and sets up concession stands, a statewide license is required from the Ohio Department of Taxation for $100. Failure to get a concession stand license before an event will result in a $50 fine, even if nothing was sold.

Signage Permit

If the vendor decides to use signs to market and promote the concession stand, a signage permit is required from the local planning and building department. A local planning and building department is located in each county in Ohio, so the owner of the stand must get the permit from the county where the business or concession stand is located. Do not erect signs before the permit is obtained.

Basic Business License

If the concession stand owner wants to start a business where concession stands are required all year around on a full-time basis, then a general business license is needed from the Ohio secretary of state. The concession stand owner must file a “Trade Name Registration Form” with the secretary of state to ensure that all practical and tax information is updated. The name registration form costs $50 to file, as of June 2011, whether it is a trade name or a fictitious name.