How to Become a Street Food Vendor in NYC

If you're trying to find out how to become a street food vendor in NYC, there are a few very specific steps that you must take to get started.

  1. Contact the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to learn more about how to become a street food vendor in NYC. This is the unit that handles street food vendor applications in the city of New York.
  2. Contact the New York Department of Finance to get a sales tax certificate of authority to become a street food vendor in NYC. This certificate authorizes you to accept sales tax from customers and pay quarterly taxes.
  3. Purchase a food vending cart that meets regulations defined by the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. You can find a cart online or by calling a dealership. Display your permit and certificate of authority in plain sight on your cart when you become a street food vendor in NYC.
  4. Choose a location for your vending cart. Discuss this with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. They have information about current street food vendor locations and may be able to suggest an area. The city has very strict restrictions on where you can place a cart when you become a street food vendor. For instance, you cannot place it in front of a fire hydrant or in front of a brick and mortar store's doors. You could be fined or have your permit revoked if you disobey the rules.
  5. Contract a food distributor in the city that you can call whenever you need more supplies. Negotiate pickup or delivery of food from the distributor.
  6. Learn more about how to become a street food vendor in NYC by visiting the Street Vendor Project website regularly (streetvendor.org). This website has tips and news for street vendors in the city.
  7. Respect your fellow street food vendors in NYC. If you notice that another vendor is selling the same foods as you on the same block, choose a different location.

References:

NYC Government

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