Opening a food truck, mobile food service

Verified 01 January 2023 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

You want to get into the itinerant catering by opening a food truck. Offer a commercial offer nomad is indeed an interesting solution especially to start an activity! We'll explain step by step the steps to be carried out.

Step-by-step approach

Do you have the right to become a merchant?

You must to be of age and not to have been convicted in court for certain offenses.

Did you anticipate the difficulties?

These courses are optional but highly recommended.

  • Anticipate:
    • Make a financial reserve to deal with unforeseen events
    • Get ready for steady rate of work : weekend and evening, overtime

Are you made to build and manage a company?

It is important to think ahead of the project about your assets to manage a company.

You will face sometimes difficult situations and decisions that you will have to make manage alone.

If your business grows, you will need to hire and supervise staff.

Testing and training are available to help you determine if this job is right for you.

You can use the testing prepared by CCI: titleContent France:

Chamber of Commerce and Industry's entrepreneurial test "Character traits"

Chamber of Commerce and Industry entrepreneurial test "Determination and motivation"

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Entrepreneurial Test "Resources and Skills"

These tests accompany your thinking.

They are not definitive answers without alternatives.

It is possible to find other assets in your home.

You will always be able to learn new skills.

Financial aid

If you don't have enough equity to start your company, know that outside financial solutions are available.

Depending on your situation, we help you find the right solution.

You can also consult the national guide to aid to companies.

State aid can be a way to start a business without having a lot of money. We'll get you explains in detail each of these public support measures.

The crowdfunding is now an interesting option.

Finally, if you take back a company, you can receive specific recovery support.

Entrepreneur support in creation

Don't stand alone
  • Meet entrepreneurs
  • Accompany yourself with business networks
  • Getting to fairs and trade shows that are related to your future business.
    For know trade fairs which may be of interest to you, you can visit the KIC by Region. They list upcoming events for entrepreneurs:
  • Be accompanied by advisors from CCI: titleContent of your department
Who shall I contact
Take training

You can request different accompanying solutions.

Get closer to the CCI: titleContent from your region.

Each KIC offers a training (3-5 days) to succeed your company creation.

KICs also offer personalized follow-up to your project.

Opening a food truck is above all an entrepreneurial project, so you must first think about how to create a company. First of all, the choice of its legal form is important for the continuation of your activity.

You can choose to practice either by setting up a business individual business (a legal personality) or by setting up an own-name company (EI).

Please note

Micro-company is synonymous with self-company. It's the same status. This status is part of the so-called individual companies (IS). You practice in your own name.

We'll explain the advantages and disadvantages specific to each status.


This status is characterized by simplicity of administrative procedures. It is suitable for beginner entrepreneurs whose activity does not generate a lot of turnover.

For example, if you do not perform CA: titleContent for a month, you will not pay premiums on this month.

On the other hand, this status is limiting if your business starts to grow. If your CA: titleContent annual overshoot €82,200, you automatically change the status toIS: titleContent.

The status of the micro-company is therefore not suitable if you want to hire an employee.

Moreover, this status makes it possible to invoice your products without VAT (exemption from VAT), and therefore to charge lower prices. The flip side is that you can't deduct VAT on your business purchases, for example on the purchase of your truck.

Please note

Today, in the case of professional debts, the reform of theIS: titleContent allows any entrepreneur, whatever his status, to benefit from a protection on its principal residence.


Choosing the legal form of a business is appropriate when you want to combine.

It will also be a suitable shape if your activity is growing and that your CA: titleContent increase.

The disadvantage lies in the greater complexity of the administrative and tax procedures in relation to the micro-entrepreneur. However, in the medium term, this difficulty can be overcome, for example, by using the services of an accountant.

There are many different types of business. You can consult our page detailing the aspects specific to each type of business.

Strategic choice: Adapt your catering offer

The success of your food truck depends on the choice you make for its location.

You must analyze customers that's in the territories you're looking at.

Your offer must match the needs and to behaviour of your future clientele.

You must therefore adapt your restaurant choices to your customers.

The choice of truck by type of catering is wide. You will find rotisserie trucks, pizzeria, creperie, grocery store, Asian cuisine, burgers, etc.

Example :

If you settle your food truck in front of a cinema in an urban area with a strong purchasing power, you will not offer the same catering as in front of a football stadium in the countryside.

Analysis of the territory

You must to analyze the territory economic, social, cultural, etc.

Insee: economic portrait of a territory

You have to do the list of your competitors in the territory and work on needs of your future customers.

List your competitors

Working on the needs of your future clientele: Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Canevas method:

The main options available

You have several possible locations.

They are:

  • One fixed place on fixed days and at fixed times
  • Multiple locations : for example, a place for noon and another one on evening
  • Markets, places with events such as football matches, concerts, etc.

Of course, you can mix the possibilities. However, it is important that you maintain customer loyalty with fixed benchmarks.

Each of these options requires a authorization to settle your food truck in the public space.

But above all, you need to get a itinerant merchant card.

Name and trade name

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Individual contractor (including micro-company)

If you have chosen to practice as an individual entrepreneur (including the micro-company), your company's name will be your surname. This is your company's name.

You will then have to choose a commercial name in parallel that will serve you in all your communications. This trade name refers to your business.

We'll get you explains everything on our page dedicated.


If you have chosen the status of the business, your company's legal name is free. You must choose it with your associates and write it in the statutes. It often reflects the activity being performed.

We'll get you explains everything on our page dedicated.

Domiciliate your company

Before you start your company, you must give it an address.

If you have a fixed restaurant, you can place your food truck at the same address, such as 2d establishment.

If the food truck is your only place of business, the easiest way to house your company is to choose your personal residence as your headquarters.

However, other possibilities exist (third-location, coworking, business of domicile, etc.) We'll get you explains all the options and conditions in our content dedicated.

At this point, you are in a position to address the mandatory phase which consists in carrying out your market study and building your business plan.

The banks and financial partners will require access to these documents. They need it to accept or not to lend you money and make you confidence.

The business plan should include a summary of your market research.

So you have to start the 2 at the same time.

The business plan evolves as your project matures.

It then enables the management of First 3 years of your business.

We'll get you explains everything in our pages dedicated tomarket study and the business plan.

Registration via the one-stop-shop for formalities


Since 1er january 2023, it is no longer possible to carry out your procedures in a company Formalities Center (CFE). You must make them on the website of the company formalities office.

Company Formalities Window

You must create personal account. Then you need to click on the column “ Company ” and then click on “File a company”. One interactive online form 8 pages is offered; you must fill it out step by step. A user manual is available on this Single Window website.

Following this declaration, your restaurant is registered and registered on the RNE: titleContent and on SCR: titleContent.

This listing proves its legal existence.

As soon as your application is processed and accepted, you will receive a unique identification number (Siren), a Siret and one Kbis.

We'll explain in detail, depending on your legal form, the registration formality in our dedicated page.

Declaration of activity in the town hall

You must declare your activity and the identity of your restaurant to the town hall where it is located.

This declaration must be made 15 days minimum before opening of your restaurant.

This declaration shall be made in filling out the form next:

Declaration of a restaurant or a bar of drinks to be consumed on the spot or to take away

Who shall I contact

You need to take out insurance for your business restaurant owner.

Her name is professional civil liability.

You should ask your regular insurer.

Depending on the characteristics of your restaurant, you can subscribe to different types of insurance.

She's giving you guard, you and your customers.

This is protection against accidents:

  • materials (stocks of goods, IT, etc.),
  • intangible (operating loss),
  • and personal injuries (accident, death).

We'll explain in detail how to insure your company.

Truck or trailer?

You're hesitating between a truck and a trailer.

The truck has the advantage of being ready-to-usei as soon as you stop the engine of your vehicle. The trailer, on the other hand, requires installation at every location where you want to work.

You must indeed know to untie the coupling and to attach the trailer on the ground in a balanced way. It's longer. The trailer is also more difficult to drive.

If the truck falls into purlinSo it's your business that's blocked, whereas with a trailer you're less dependent on outages.

The advantage of a trailer is not to lose value and to be able to be resold easier than a truck. You can thus change offer more often with a trailer, if you feel the need.

Please note

You must register the trailer if its PTAC is greater than 500 kg , which is very often the case given the weight of the equipment.

How much does it cost?

A new truck will cost between €20,000 and €40,000 depending on the type of restaurant.

Example :

A rotisserie truck will cost more with its roasters than a burger truck with a plancha and a deep fryer, and even more than a creperie truck with its crepes. The pizza truck will also be more expensive because of its oven and its high safety standards.

A new trailer will cost between €10,000 and €20,000, depending on the equipment.

Nine or occasion?

Of course, a new purchase is more expensive, especially for a truck.

Even if most professionals are serious, make sure you have all the health and safety compliance certificates.


In the case of an occasion, you must absolutely verify that the equipment of the truck is up to the safety and hygiene standards. To do this, you must retrieve all certificates. The controls are common and your business may be stopped for non-compliance. The carte grise must be marked VASP: titleContent.

Verification of gas and electricity equipment and installations

Whether you buy new or used, your truck or trailer and its equipment must meet strict standards and numerous safety and hygiene.

He must have a water point.

When cooking, it must have a fume hood evacuation.

You need to make sure you have all the certificates of conformity.

Everything has to be right fixed, waterproof and washable.

Vehicle insurance

Like all motor vehicles, your truck must be insured against theft, accidents. Remember to specify that this is your working tool. As much as subscribe to the insurance of the truck at the same time as the insurance for your activity (professional civil insurance).

Hiring a truck can be a good choice for test your business. The consequences of failure will be less severe than if you go into debt to buy a truck.

This helps you refine your idea and get more out of it change especially for the choice of the type of restaurant.

Driving license

First of all, we must remember what is the PTAC: titleContent. It's not the actual weight of the truck. It shall be entered in the F2 entry of the carte grise of the vehicle.

He determine what driving license you must own.

In the case of a trailer, you need to look at both the trailer's PTAC and the Total PTAC i.e. the addition of the PTACs of towed vehicle + trailer vehicle.

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Truck less than 3.5 t of PTAC

If your food truck has a PTAC: titleContent not exceeding 3.5 tons, on B-permit enough.

Truck more than 3.5t of PTAC

If your food truck has a PTAC: titleContent greater than 3.5 tons, you must own the heavy goods vehicle license. It's one of the C licenses, particularly the C1 license.

Trailer and towed vehicle

Food-truck trailers very often weigh more than 750 kg, so we give you the information corresponding to this criterion.

Trailer + towed vehicle less than 4.25 t

If your coupling meets the following 2 criteria:

  • PTAC: titleContent of the trailer greater than 750 kg,
  • and maximum permissible mass of the combination, vehicle + trailer, more than 3 500 kg but less than 4 250 kg,

you must have the B-permit and take an internship d'1 day driving school.

On your license, you will get the B96 mark, without examination.

Trailer + towed vehicle exceeding 4.25 t

If your coupling meets the following 2 criteria:

  • PTAC: titleContent of the trailer greater than 750 kg,
  • and maximum permissible mass of the combination, vehicle + trailer, more than 4 250 kg,

you must pass the BE license.

Carte grise specificity VASP-Magasin

Your food truck or food truck trailer must receive theapproval VASP: titleContent : Specially equipped motor vehicle, marked Shop.

Without this, you will not get permission to drive technical inspection.

This type approval guarantee whether your truck or trailer complies with the safety standards for your business.

You need to apply to Dreal :

What are your obligations?

You must have the itinerant trading card.

This card allows you to travel outside of the municipality of your business address for service.

You are affected by this obligation whether or not you have a fixed commercial premises and regardless of your status.

If you hire an employee who travels with or without you, he must have a copy of your card.

The card is valid 4 years.

It costs €30.

How do I apply?

You must complete Form 14022.

You must send it (by email, by mail or on site) to the CCI: titleContent for traders, at the CMA: titleContent for craftsmen or craftsmen-traders.

Prior declaration for the exercise of an itinerant commercial or craft activity

Who shall I contact

Card Renewal

The card is valid for 4 years.

You have to do yourself the application for renewal.

The request is made from1 month before the expiry date from validity until 2 months after this date. If you exceed this time limit, you must reapply.

The waiting time to receive the new card is 15 days.

You must complete form 14022.

You must send it by mail or by post to your CCI: titleContent for merchants, at your CMA: titleContent for craftsmen or craftsmen-traders.

Prior declaration for the exercise of an itinerant commercial or craft activity

Who shall I contact

Please note

You can request a temporary card during the waiting period. To do this, you must return the old card.

Caution : to make location requests, you must have a unique identification number (Siren), i.e. have already carried out theregistration of your company.

You must also have purchased a professional insurance for your business.

Location on a sidewalk, a public square

You must request a parking permit.

This license is intended for trade whose occupation of public space is without right of way fixed to the ground.

How do I apply?

The file varies according to the municipalities.

You can find the file to download on the website of your city hall (or of your prefecture if your request is located on a major artery of the city).

This is either a form specific to your municipality or the cerfa form n°14023:

Application for permission or authorization of roads, parking permits, or authorization to undertake work

Where to send the file?

You must send your complete file to the City Hall (or the prefecture if your request is located on a major street of the city).

You can drop it off on site or send it by mail, preferably by registered mail with acknowledgement of receipt.

General case 

The request is located on the communal area or a street of the city

Who shall I contact

The request is located on a national or departmental road or on some major arteries of the city

Who shall I contact
In Marseille
Who shall I contact

To find out all about parking permit applications, you can consult our dedicated page.

Market location

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Fixed Place

If you want to have a fixed location in a market covered or uncovered, you must apply to the town hall concerned.

You must pay a seat fee through a subscription (annual, quarterly or monthly).

Who shall I contact

Occasional flying place

If you want a day vacancy (said steering wheel seat or passenger seat), you must make the request to the Food Processor.

You pay then a royalty per busy day.

According to the conditions detailed in the communal regulation, the allocation of vacant space can be carried out by drawing lots or by order of arrival, after entry on a waiting list.

In the interests of equality before public services, it is forbidden to reserve locations for local resident traders.

For all the information on rights of place on markets, you can consult our dedicated page.

Location in a festival, fair, event

You must request a location from the event organizer.

You can also inquire at the relevant city hall.

You'll pay a royalty to the organizer.

Who shall I contact

Mandatory HACCP training

Training in food hygiene rules is obligatory.

It is often called HACCP training.

The name HACCP means in English Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point. It is a method of preventing and identifying hazards that may arise in health care practicesfood hygiene.

It lasts about 14 hours.

Its cost varies between €200 and €500. It shall be issued by a recognized organization.

Declaration on the handling of foodstuffs of animal origin

You have to make a statement for all manipulative activity of foodstuffs of animal originand intended for consumers.

It must be sent to the departmental directorate responsible for the protection of populations (DDPP).

It has to be done front theopening of the establishment.

This statement shall be obligatory to enable the DDPP's Hygiene and Food Safety department to schedule health monitoring visits.

Online declaration of food of animal origin


To know everything about hygiene rules in the restaurant, we invite you to consult our page on the subject.

For the street sale of alcohol, the street trading card is not enough.

You must obtain a " small sales license take away.”

To do this, you must take training. The training organization will then give you a operating permit.

It lasts about 20 hours (2.5 days).


The street sale ofstrong alcohols (rum, vodka, whisky, etc.) is forbidden.

You can sell alcohol between 10pm and 8am provided that you have followed a training specific.

It takes place in a approved training. It lasts about 20 hours (2.5 days). It must be done in person.

If you complete the training, you will receive a operating permit, or license to sell alcoholic beverages at night: this is the PVBAN: titleContent.

The license is valid for 10 years.

It is renewable by performing a new 6-hour training.

There are many display rules.

The main ones concern beverages, alcohol, protection of minors, the prices of your products, their origin.

You must display your license operating (sale of take-away alcohol).

Illustration X - Illustration
Illustration X
Crédits: Direction de l’information légale et administrative

Ouvrir l’image dans une nouvelle fenêtre

It is a wall poster of size A4 (21 x 29.7 cm), on a white background. In the center at the top is the logo of the Marianne, blue, white, red.

Below are several excerpts from articles of law, originating from the Public Health Code, concerning the repression of public drunkenness and the protection of minors from the sale of alcohol.

In particular: "It is forbidden to sell alcohol to minors under 18 years of age."

The following is added: "It is forbidden to be drunk in public places".

"The operator of a drinking establishment shall be prohibited from giving drinks to manifestly drunk persons or from receiving them in his establishment".

You must display the regulations on the suppression of public drunkenness and the protection of minors (prohibition on the sale of alcohol to persons under 18).


You must not sell or offer free alcohol to a minor.

If you do, you risk a fine of €7,500 and a 1-year license ban.

You must present a display of soft drinks listings. At least 10 different copies must be visible by customers.

You must specify theorigin of all meat (poultry, beef, pork, mutton) on the menu or as a poster, or risk a fine of €450 (or €2,250 for a legal person). This obligation does not apply to meat purchased already cooked for resale.

Please note

To know everything on display obligations in a restaurant, we invite you to read our page special on the subject.

Company Formalities Window

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