Special Event Food Stand License 

"Special Event food stand" means a food and beverage service establishment which is used in conjunction with celebrations and special events, and which operates for no more than ten (10) total days within the applicable license period.

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.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) licenses food stands that generate the majority of sales from prepackaged foods (sold to the consumer in the original packaging), baked goods, popcorn, nuts, candy, and sno cones/shaved ice. Please see the information below to apply for a Special Event Food Stand license to sell these types of foods.

If you want a license for a food stand that primarily sells the following types of foods, please contact the Minnesota Department of Health for more information:

  • Food service concessions (sandwiches, hot dogs, other meals); or
  • Beverage service concessions (soft drinks, coffee, beer, or other beverages sold by the glass or prepared/dispensed per customer order); or
  • Ice cream dipping/scooping or ice milk (does not include packaged only ice cream treats/bars or sno cones/shaved ice)

Applying for a MDA Special Event Food Stand License

The license period for a MDA Special Event food stand is from April 1st of the current year through March 31st of 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, or on the same day at multiple locations.

Please read the Special Event Application Guide 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. 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 your 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.