Special Event Food Stand License 

A Special Event food stand is a food and beverage service that serves food at celebrations and special events for no more than ten (10) total days within the applicable license period.

The license period for a Special Event food stand is from April 1st to March 31st the following year. All food stands must be operated in compliance with the Minnesota Food Code (EXT) and all events must be disclosed to the MDA prior to participating at the event. Each Special Event food stand is required to have its own license. This license cannot be photocopied or duplicated to use for 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:

  • Food service concessions (sandwiches, hot dogs, other meals); or
  • Beverage service concessions (soft drinks, beer, or other beverages sold by the glass); or
  • Ice cream dipping or Ice milk (does not include packaged ice cream treats/bars or Sno Cones)

you will need to obtain 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.

Applying for a Special Event Food Stand License

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:

  1. New! Apply online for a Special Event food stand license
  2. Apply in person by calling 651-201-6027 and asking for your area retail inspector’s contact information to set up an appointment

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.