Economic Liberty

Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act

State legislation to remove unnecessary roadblocks for food truck entrepreneurs

Everyone benefits from food trucks.

With low start-up costs, food trucks offer first-time entrepreneurs the opportunity to experiment, accumulate capital and build businesses. For established restauranteurs, they are a means to expand, build their brands and complement their brick-and-mortar locations. For residents, food trucks enrich communities by increasing access to foods and cultures.

For governments, food trucks stimulate growth. They create jobs, pay state and local taxes, and make towns and cities better places to live. Governments should allow food trucks to thrive.

Unfortunately, too many build roadblocks. Across America, laws governing food trucks are complex and vary from city to city.

State and local laws commonly require entrepreneurs to apply for multiple licenses that require operators to complete redundant applications, undergo plan reviews and pay hundreds of dollars in fees. And if operators overcome these hurdles, they often face restrictions on where and how they operate.

IJ’s Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act streamlines regulations. It ensures that states and cities are not enforcing burdensome laws under the guise of protecting brick-and-mortar businesses from competition.

The model creates a simple state license that allows food trucks to operate statewide. It provides clear standards about where and how they operate, designating locations where they can serve customers.

Additionally, the model protects consumers. It uses a uniform system of inspections. It places the responsibility of conducting inspections with the state, which prevents food trucks from having to undergo redundant local inspections. Importantly, it invites collaboration between state and local governments to investigate reports of foodborne illness.

Food trucks have created thousands of small businesses and jobs across the country. Enacting IJ’s Mobile Food Vendor Freedom Act will encourage their continued success and lead to many more that will benefit everyone.

Mobile Vendor Freedom

Four states have banned localities from banning food trucks. Those four states have streamlined licensing at the state level to make it easier for mobile food vendors to operate throughout the entire state.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming District of Columbia