HB 146: Streamlined Business Licensing for Food Trucks
This bill passed the House 68-1 and passed the Senate 26-2.
Four years ago, we teamed up with then-Senator (and now-Lieutenant Governor) Deidre Henderson to create a “food truck freedom” law to reduce regulations on these micro-entrepreneurs. A year later, another bill was needed to close some loopholes and ensure that cities followed the new law.
Many cities have complied with the new law, and some have even gone beyond it in reducing regulations and fees on food truck owners. Unfortunately, that experience has not been uniform across the state.
In response to some lingering concerns, Representative Karianne Lisonbee is sponsoring House Bill 146, which would amend the “food truck freedom” law to reduce complexity further. In current law, food truck owners must get a business license in each city in which they operate. This creates unnecessary duplication of fees and interactions with city officials, some of whom have used the opportunity to tell food truck owners they must comply with regulations required by the city which actually are not authorized under state law.
Under HB 146, food truck owners will only have to get their original business license, and then they can legally operate anywhere in the state. They will have to ensure that they have their business license (and inspection documents) with them at any time, should an official in another city request to see them for verification, but they won’t be required to obtain and pay for duplicative licenses everywhere they go.
This is an important bill for hundreds of small business owners and brings parity to them since other industries and businesses (catering, for example) are not required to obtain licenses in each city in which they operate.