Local Laws Govern Your Food Truck Business - dummies

Local Laws Govern Your Food Truck Business

By Richard Myrick

Laws will govern just about every aspect of your food truck business, from the types of food you can serve to the ability to stay in a metered parking space so you can sell your fare. Make sure you know (or hire someone who knows) the laws that are most likely to affect your business, including the following:

  • Business formation laws: Here, you have laws for the specific business structure you’ve selected.

  • Consumer protection laws: These laws are against fraud or unfair business practices.

  • Employment laws: These laws regard hiring and firing employees, overtime pay, child labor, disability, workers’ compensation, unemployment, employee rights, employee safety, and discrimination.

  • Environmental laws: These laws include recycling laws and laws for disposing of the hazardous waste materials your truck or commercial kitchen may produce.

  • Tax laws: These laws pertain to filing tax returns and paying taxes, including sales tax, withholding taxes, corporate taxes, pass-through taxes, and both state and local taxes.

  • Trademark and patent laws: These laws and similar laws pertain to ownership or intellectual property rights.

  • Zoning laws: Typically, these laws include local ordinances that regulate parking, signage, and whether mobile vending is allowed in a specific area.

You probably haven’t worried too much about the legal issues associated with running a food truck, and you may still be on the fence about whether the additional costs of hiring a lawyer, accountant, and insurance provider are really worth it.

But if you’re seriously thinking about launching a food truck business, going it alone is a big mistake. These professionals are trained to interpret business-related laws, and those who specialize in the laws specific to the food service industry can be worth their weight in gold.