Frequently Asked Questions

See a few of the most commonly asked questions regarding STLFTA, food trucks & membership.

What tax rate do I use for my food sales?

Tax rates vary by the location in which you are selling. See Missouri Tax rate schedule on the MO DoR website. Sometimes they actually vary by locations within the same city.

You must track and report either on a monthly or quarterly basis all your sales in each of the cities you sold during that period.

Make sure you have a good system to track your sales and be familiar with the tax rates which are posted each quarter on the mo.gov website.

Do I need permission to go on businesses parking lots?

Yes – you must have permission to vend on any private property in St. Louis county. In most cases you will also have to provide the property owner your insurance information and many will require you to name them as an additionally insured.

Where do I go to apply for my St. Louis County licenses?

Clayton, and this license is only good for 6 months and each person on your truck must have a license.

You should know that background checks are required for a mobile license for each individual that works on the truck. So make sure your employees have a clean record or they could deny you a license.

Where do I go to apply for my St. Louis City licenses?

City Hall – License Collectors Office – they will walk you
through the process.

You will then have to get your St. Louis City Health inspections which will include a evaluation of your site plan. You will be required to diagram your truck and submit to a inspection before being approved.

You will then be asked to submit your truck information to the Streets Department who will ultimately decided if you will receive a roaming permit to operate on the streets of St. Louis City.

Finally you will also get inspected by the Fire Marshall of the City to make sure your fire suppression and gas tanks are properly secured and protected.

Please be aware of the regulations prior to building out your truck as they change and are different from City to Counties.

What licenses do I need to start a food truck in St. Louis?

You will need the minimum to begin your business in the food truck industry here in St. Louis:
a. FEIN – Federal Tax number
b. State Tax ID
c. City Health certificate (site plan and health inspections)
d. Fire inspection
e. City Vendor License (company, employees)
f. Roaming permit (streets department)

If you want to operate in the county you will also need:

g. St. Louis County Peddlers License (Clayton)
h. St. Louis County Health Permit

If my truck passes the City inspection do I need a County inspection as well?

If you plan to sell outside of St. Louis City, you will need to be inspected and granted permits from the applicable municipalities

St. Louis County – out of Clayton office

St. Charles County – out of St. Charles office (off of 70 close to the water tower; exit after 5th street)

Jefferson County – Hillsboro Office

Do I have to be inspected by St. Louis City and Counties?

You will be inspected by the City of St. Louis Health department in order to get a St. Louis City Vendors Permit.

If you are looking to also operate in St. Louis County you will have to be inspected by the St. Louis County Health Department.

If you want to operate in St. Charles County you will need to do the same there as well.

Do I have to feed the meters downtown?

Yes – or get a ticket and if you get too many you can be suspended from operating downtown.

What is a commissary and how much do they cost?

A commissary is a commercial kitchen that has been health department inspected and allows you to use its facilities for prep and storage of the items you will sell on your truck

Costs will vary. Most establish costs based on usage with a base fee for being a member of the Commissary. Additional costs may be incurred for walk in freezer or refrigerator space, Dry Storage space, office space, and kitchen use time. Often times trucks are associated with brick and mortar restaurants and these establishments can serve as the commissary.

Commissary costs vary by location but you should figure on $500 – $1000 for shared commissary space/month.

Do food trucks operate all year?

Yes, a food truck can operate all year long, however December – February should be considered as slow months for planning purposes.

December thru February may be slow based on May – October sales and day to day business methods, but if you are enterprising enough you will find new ways to market yourself and locations to market your fare that may help the hard times not be so hard.