Starting a Food Truck Business: Everything You Need to Know

With an average $290,000 yearly return on a $50,000 start-up investment, owning and operating a food truck can be a lucrative and life-changing opportunity. But getting your business off the ground and onto wheels goes beyond just designing your custom food truck

Your new endeavor’s smooth start relies on your knowledge and willingness to navigate financing, licensing, and plenty of permits. Fortunately, we’re willing to serve as your backseat driver. Here’s what you need to know: 

Licensing Your Food Truck Business

Although less intimidating than a traditional brick-and-mortar restaurant, food trucks require many of the same — and some unique — permits and licenses to operate. Your business plan can take a serious detour if you neglect to maintain the official documentation you need. 

As you may expect, you’ll need to obtain a business license and an employer identification number if you hope to hire an outside staff. But don’t forget more quirky food truck necessities, like a parking permit! Establishing your business as an LLC can also provide additional protections and credibility to your operation. 

On average, you’ll have to complete 45 different government procedures, forms, or verifications before being ready to roll. This can seem overwhelming at first, but it is a crucial step in ensuring your business’s safety and success. Specific requirements can vary depending on your location, but the local health department can be a great resource for learning about how to operate in your area. Also, the rising popularity of food trucks has lead to policymakers becoming more understanding and knowledgeable about all of your legal needs. 

Insuring Your Truck

When building your dream, you’ll always want to have a plan for how you’re going to protect it. There are three main areas you’ll want to make sure you have covered: your truck, your customers, and your employees. 

Food trucks are a unique industry that present a rare need for both auto insurance, and protection against food poisoning claims. Your one-of-a-kind business deserves an equally personalized policy. Fortunately, there are many options out there. Take the time to hunt for the perfect one for you — it’ll save you money and stress. 

Financing Your Truck

It is so vital to correctly insure and license your food truck because it is a significant investment. Every policy and permit can come with their own price-tag, and you may still need to purchase a truck! You will want to have a financing plan ready to guarantee you won’t drive your business into the ground. 

Traditional business loans can be used to gain capital for your truck, and may be a more familiar method to pursue. Before approaching your bank, you’ll want to have a clear plan for what the money will be used for, and how you can ensure them a return on their investment. Be ready to bring your own cash and assets to the table, as well. Strong preparation can be as valuable as a good credit score when it comes to getting loan approval. 

Your up-and-coming food truck could also turn to an up-and-coming online tool for financing: crowdfunding. Appealing to friends, followers, and community members can quickly garner donations towards your fundraising goal. A successful campaign will also serve to generate excitement for your food before you’ve even opened!

Legion Food Trucks

You may now feel that your food truck is coming with a to-do list longer than its menu. It’s true that success won’t come without hard work, but this is the perfect time to make your dream a reality. Food trucks are a growing industry that have never been trendier — or more profitable. 

Legion Food Trucks is your one-stop-shop for taking your food truck business from your Notes app to the road. We’re here to help you navigate all the red tape and even design your dream vehicle. Getting started is as simple as contacting us today. We’ll move your stagnant, stressful speculation to the fast lane.