Vendor Permits

A permit to operate within the city is required for all mobile/semi-permanent food establishments and door-to-door sales. 


Mobile Food Establishments operate from a vehicle or any portable structure and do not remain in one location for more than 2 weeks. The following is required for Mobile Food Establishment permits:


  1. Austin/Travis County mobile food vendor permit inspection report
  2. Completed application
  3. Proposed locations of operation and/or route


Semi-permanent Food Establishments operate at a fixed non-residential location from a trailer, stand, or building which does not allow access to customers inside of the establishment. The following is required for Semi-permanent Food Establishment permits: 


  1. Austin/Travis County mobile food vendor permit inspection report
  2. Completed application
  • Must be on commercially zoned land (C-1, C-2, C-3) - check zoning here
  • Must provide off-street parking. If parking is shared with another business a written agreement allowing shared parking must be provided with the application.


Temporary Food Events is a service of food at a location for no more than 14 consecutive days in conjunction with an organized event or celebration. Event organizers are responsible for obtaining a Temporary Food Service permit at least 10 days prior to the event and providing operation requirements to each food vendor. Each food vendor must have these requirements posted for the duration of the event. Mobile Food Establishments with valid Austin/Travis County inspection reports and Manor permit can operate at an event without a Temporary Food Event permit if they remain within the confines of their mobile unit and do not prepare or serve food from booths outside the unit. If any food from any vendor is served from a booth or outside the confines of a permitted mobile unit a Temporary Food Event permit is required. Food vendor booths not associated with a permitted Mobile Food vendor have to obtain a Temporary Food Establishment permit.


If you can answer “Yes” to any of the following questions you will need to obtain a temporary food service permit.


1. Is the general public invited to the event?

2. Can a person other than a member of the organization and their family members or invited guest attend?

3. Have you advertised the event or sold tickets to the general public?

4. Are you serving open food, open container drinks (mixed drinks w/ ice, wine or keg beer) or food that requires refrigeration or to be held hot?  


  1. Austin/Travis County Temporary Food Event
  1. For events using city owned parks a Park Rental/Special Event Application is required: 


Temporary Food Establishment is a food establishment operating for a temporary period in connection with a fair, carnival, circus, public exhibition, or other similar gathering.  Temporary food establishments operate from booths or similar structures and are not mobile or semi-permanent food vendor establishments. Temporary food establishments are permitting in conjunction with Temporary Food Events and must be listed on the Temporary Food Event permit obtained through Austin/Travis County. Home prepared foods are not permitted to be served with a temporary food establishment permit. Temporary food establishment vendors must read, post, and adhere to the operation requirements. The following is required for Temporary Food Establishment permit: 



  1. Copy of Temporary Food Event permit from event organizer
  2. Completed application


Peddlers carry goods, merchandise, or products from place to place and offer those goods, merchandise, or products for sale with immediate delivery.


Solicitors attempt to sell services, goods, wares, merchandise, subscriptions, publications, food or products from place to place and to be delivered at a future date.


Open Air Vendors sell goods, merchandise or services or exhibiting those upon of from a vehicle, cart, stand, tent, or other such structure and excludes authorized food establishments and garage sales. Must be on commercial, industrial, or public property and comply with, when applicable, site development regulations. 


The following is required for Peddler, Solicitor, and Open Air Vendor permits:


  1. Completed application
  • A $5,000 bond conditioned for the final delivery of goods, wares, merchandise or services in accordance with the terms of any order obtained prior to delivery and also conditioned to indemnify any and all purchasers or customers for any and all defects in material or workmanship that may exist in the article sold by the principal of such bond at the time of delivery, and that may be discovered by such purchaser or customer within 30 days after delivery.


Activities exempt from permit requirements


  1. Ordinary commercial travelers or salesmen, transacting business only at wholesale dealers in such goods or services for use in manufacturing or commercial purposes;


  2. Sheriff’s constables, bona fide assignees, receivers or trustees in bankruptcy or other public officers selling goods, wares and merchandise according to law;


  3. Solicitations, sales or distributions made for noncommercial purposes or causes, whether community service, charitable, educational or religious, shall not be required to obtain a permit. A mobile food establishment that is operated by a nonprofit community service or religious group to provide food to the elderly at no charge, such as meals-on-wheels or other similar charitable operation, shall be exempt from a permit under this exception;

  5. Newspaper carriers and newspaper vending machines; provided also vending machines may be located upon a public sidewalk immediately outside a commercial business in a location which does not interfere with pedestrians or public use of the sidewalk;

  7. Sales conducted pursuant to statute or by order of any court;

  9. Persons or transactions associated with bona fide trade shows, exhibits, expositions or conventions where all transactions of purchase, sale or exchange are made in connection with such trade show, exhibit, exposition or convention and within the confines of the approved area of the trade show, exhibit, exposition or convention sites;

  11. Individual one-time only sale of personal property items sold by the owner thereof at his private residence or business or an auctioneer;

  13. Organized community and festival events held by authority of agreements or special permits issued by the city council or held upon public premises or in or upon public parks under the auspices or sponsorship or within the regular administration of the parks and recreation department of the city;

  15. Authorized contractual concessions permitted upon city premises by agreement, lease or contract with the city duly authorized by the city council;

  17. Delivery services to permanent established businesses in the city which operate on-site and by agreement with or invitation of such individuals, industries or businesses;

  19. Garage sales on private property;

  21. An auctioneer conducting an auction of an estate or other similar auction shall be exempt from the permit requirements of this article provided the auction is conducted wholly on private property not more often than once in a six-month period; and

  23. Lemonade stands and similar activity conducted and operated entirely by children under the age of sixteen (16) years and upon the private residential premises of such children.



Door to door solicitation and food establishments: 

  • Per day: $5.00 per day up to 7 days
  • Per week: $10.00
  • Per month: $25.00
  • Three months: $50.00
  • Six months: $75.00
  • Per year: $100.00


Vendor, peddler and solicitor regulations - Chapter 4, Article 4.03
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