Andrew Wimer
Andrew Wimer · May 12, 2023

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed into law HB 814, a bill that allows food trucks to acquire a single, “gold standard” state fire permit. Currently, many municipalities require a local fire inspection, a significant investment of time for truck operators that limits where they can do business. The Institute for Justice (IJ), a national nonprofit law firm that supports entrepreneurs, worked closely with a coalition of food trucks to encourage legislators to pass the bill.

“Food trucks are important vehicles for economic opportunity, but for too long have been bogged down by redundant, burdensome local regulations in Tennessee,” said Meagan Forbes, IJ Director of Legislation and Legislative Counsel. “This reform is a positive step toward simplifying the unnecessary layers of state and local regulations that these small businesses face.”

The state permit would require an annual inspection by the state fire marshal that meets heightened fire safety standards. The permit would then satisfy fire inspection requirements for local licensing and permitting.

Jami Daniels Joe, owner of the Tennessee Cobbler Company, said: “It is exciting to see the state enact meaningful reform to streamline regulations for food trucks at the state level. This new law will alleviate some of the financial and logistical burdens that have been making it difficult for us to operate across the state. It will help food trucks better serve our customers and grow our businesses.”