Welcome to the Food Licensing Wizard

This tool will guide you through a series of questions to help you identify the type of food license you may need. Before you get started, there are a couple of important things to know.

  • "Food" means a lot of different things! It includes every ingredient that is in food or is used to make food - drinks, candy, condiments, and many more products for human or animal consumption. Read the full definition in Minnesota Statute 34A.01, Subd. 4.
  • Similarly, a "sale" of food includes everything from selling food at a grocery store, to manufacturing and packaging food for re-sale, to giving food away as a donation or sample. Read the full definition in Minnesota Statute 34A.01, Subd.12.
  • In Minnesota, food establishments are licensed by the state or local agency that has jurisdiction in the area the firm is located. This may be the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), or a county or city public health department. This wizard will help guide you to what license you might need or will direct you to the authority responsible for licensing your type of food business.
  • Keep in mind that licensing requirements are separate from inspection requirements. A business may be licensed by one agency but inspected by multiple agencies or multiple divisions within one agency. A business can also be exempt from licensing but still subject to inspections, depending on the products that are made and sold.

Tip: You may want to have a pen and paper handy to take notes.

Do you currently own a licensed food business and want to expand, remodel, or relocate your existing business?

Do you currently own a licensed food business and want to sell your existing business?

If yes , please call 651-201-6062 or mda.licensing@state.mn.us

Some food businesses do not need licensing in Minnesota. For more information on these business types visit MDA Food Licensing Exclusions and Exemptions.

Translation services

Please feel free to engage a translation service of your choice, at your own cost, for further assistance with resources and MN statutes that are in English. We cannot translate MN Statutes or resources from other agencies/organizations.