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Retail Food Mobile License (Food Truck or Food Cart)

An establishment that sells or serves food to consumers that reports and operates from a commissary and is readily moveable, such as a truck or cart. Examples include a mobile food truck that travels to different locations, moveable hot dog stand that sets up on a periodic basis, or other food carts or pushcarts that are wheeled and towed to a specific location. Please note that Retail Mobile Food Licenses have restrictions on where they can park, set up, and operate.  Additional permits for parking and specific locations may be required.

Denver Food License Information

Commissary List

How to Get a Business License

In order to apply for a new Retail Food Mobile License, an applicant will need to follow these steps:

1. A record number will need to be obtained from Excise and Licenses. The owner/operator of the unit will need to obtain a record number. To obtain the record number, bring the following completed required documents along with total fee payment of $325 to Denver Excise and Licenses:

2. Complete a mobile plan review application with the Department of Environmental Health. You can email the completed form and required pictures to with your contact information (Name, Phone Number and Unit Name). You can also fax the completed form to 720-865-5532 or take the completed form to the Department of Environmental Health - Public Health Inspections. They are located at 200 W. 14th Ave., Suite 200 Denver, CO 80204. Once this mobile plan review application is approved, you will be provided an appointment for an inspection of your unit. Both Environmental Health and the Fire Department will be present at this inspection.

3. Denver Excise and Licenses will give you an inspection notice (with a record number) that instructs you to call Environmental Health and the Fire Department to schedule an inspection for your Mobile Food Vehicle, Cart, or Trailer. You do not need to contact these departments; the appointment that you were given from Environmental Health after the approval of your mobile plan review application is the required inspection. If you have questions for either of these departments prior to your appointment, you may reach them at:

  • Environmental Health - 720-913-1311. You will need to bring both the record number and Affidavit of Commissary form to this inspection. 
  • Denver Fire Department - 720-913-3474
    • Fire Code Inspections draw from the International Fire Code, Denver Fire Code Amendments and applicable NFPA codes.
    • For Questions and information regarding Retail Food Mobile inspections that are conducted by the Denver Fire Department, please call 720-913-3474 and ask to speak to a Mobile Retail Food inspector.

4. Once you have completed the inspection and have been approved by all required departments, Denver Excise and Licenses will issue you a license at the inspection site. You will need to give your approved Affidavit of Commissary to Excise and Licenses in order to obtain your license. At this point you will be issued a license.

We encourage you to review the process overview to verify the steps you will need to take in order to obtain a license. Meanwhile, you will need to bring the following completed documents with you to Denver Excise and Licenses when you apply for your Retail Food Mobile License:

Finally, before receiving your license from  Denver Excise and Licenses you will need to give a completed Affidavit of Commissary form that has been signed by the Department of Environmental Health's Public Health Inspections Division.

Application Fee:  $200.00

License Fee:  $125.00

Fees can be paid with cash, check,  money order or credit card.  Checks should be made payable to Manager of Finance. 

Once fees are paid in full, an Inspection Notice will be issued. 

Basic Requirements are as follows (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements):

  1. All food trucks and/or carts shall have an approved fire extinguisher that has been inspected on a yearly basis by a Denver Fire Department licensed fire extinguisher company or,
  2. Fire extinguishers bought from a retail store shall have the receipt showing the date of purchase. This extinguisher is good for one year only, or can be inspected on a yearly basis.
  3. Fire extinguisher shall be a minimum of 2A: 10BC Classification that is mounted to the vehicle in the appropriate bracket.
  4. All hood extinguishing systems shall be inspected every six months by a Denver Fire Department licensed inspection company.
  5. Any cooking or re-heating operations that produces grease laden vapors (Including but not limited to Frying of any type) will be required to have a Class I hood installed with an approved Fire Suppression System and a Class K fire extinguisher will also be required to be mounted to the vehicle in an appropriate Class K bracket.
  6. Any solid fuel cooking (including but not limited to wood or wood pellets) shall have a Class K rated fire extinguisher AND a minimum 2A: 10BC class Dry Chemical extinguisher that is mounted to the vehicle in an appropriate 2A: 10BC bracket.
  7. Propane tanks shall be mounted securely to truck or cart by metal strap and must be protected from vehicle impact. Bungee cords and fabric tie down straps are not acceptable to secure Propane tanks (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements).
  8. All propane lines must be installed in accordance with Denver Fire Department policy and NFPA requirements (contact the Denver Fire Department for applicable requirements).

Renew a Business License

In order to renew your Retail Food Mobile business license you will need to complete the following steps:

1. To renew a Retail Food Mobile business license, you will need to pay the $125 renewal fee to Denver Excise and Licenses. You will be given an invoice with a receipt. Once you have the invoice with receipt, you will go to Step 2.

2. Please contact 720-913-1311 to request a renewal inspection for your Retail Food Mobile license with the Denver Environmental Health/Public Health Inspection Division. Public Health Inspections will sign off on the Affidavit of Commisary form after all approved physical inspections of the mobile unit has been conducted. The Fire Department will sign off on their inspection.

3. A renewed license will be issued at this time if both inspections have been passed.

Renew by Mail
Mail a check made payable to the Manager of Finance for the total of $125 to the Department of Excise and Licenses. Be sure to include your Business File Number (BFN) on your check. The mailing address for the Department is as follows:

Department of Excise and Licenses
201 W. Colfax Ave Dept. 206
Denver, CO 80202

A receipt with an invoice will be mailed back to you. You will then need to follow Steps 2 and 3 listed above.

Please Note: If your license has expired, the operator will need to submit a new mobile unit plan review packet to the Denver Environmental/Public Health Inspections division for approval. Additional late fees will be required to be paid before your license will be renewed.

In order to renew your Retail Food Mobile business license you will need to pass your Environmental Health and Fire Inspections.

Please review the Process Overview section to learn how to obtain a current and approved Affidavit of Commisary.

License Fee:  $125.00

Fees can be paid with cash, check,  money order or credit card.  Checks should be made payable to Manager of Finance. 

Licenses must be renewed on or before the expiration date to avoid penalty fees. Also, licensees may not operate on an expired license, even within their 90 day grace period.


90 Day Grace Period
There is a 90 day grace period from the expiration date during which licenses can be renewed by paying for the license fee and a penalty fee.

  • First 30 days of grace period:  20% penalty fee
  • Days 31 - 90:  50% penalty fee
  • After 90 days:  Licensees will be required to apply for a new license


Municipal Code

Denver Revised Municipal Code

Definition 23-2 (23)

Requirements 23-50

Fees 32-106.5

Plan Extra Time!

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Inspections and paperwork can take longer than you expect. Plan extra time to get your license.