A Special Event food stand is a food and beverage service establishment which is used in conjunction with celebrations and special events and which operates no more than ten (10) total days within the applicable license period.
The license period for a Special Event stand is from April 1st to March 31st the following year. All stands must be operated in compliance with the Minnesota Food Code (EXT) and all events must be disclosed to MDA prior to participating at the event. Each special event stand is required to have its own license and cannot be photocopied or duplicated to use on multiple stands within the same event.
Special event food stands are licensed by different regulatory authorities in Minnesota based on the type and predominance of business. Predominance of business means that a majority (51% or more) of the gross annual food sales comes from that type of food or activity.
If you want a license for a concession stand that is predominantly:
Then you need a license from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). Go to the MDH Food Licensing web page (EXT) for more information.
If you will not be operating any of those types of food stands, then you can apply for a license with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) by following the steps below.
Please read the Special Event Application Guidance before you apply for a license. It describes the food safety and personal hygiene requirements of operating a special event food stand, what information is needed to apply for a license, and how to pay for a license.
There are two ways to apply for a Special Event food stand license:
In order to ensure receipt of license prior to a special event, license applications and fees should be submitted to the appropriate regulatory authority at least 14 days prior to operating a special event food stand.
Food Licensing Liaison Line - for questions about starting a new business or new license:
651-201-6081 and MDA.FoodLicensingLiaison@state.mn.us
Food and Feed Safety Licensing Line - for questions about a current license:
651-201-6062 or MDA.Licensing@state.mn.us
Food and Feed Safety Main Line - for general questions: