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Food Preparing and Serving License

Food Preparing and Serving

A Food Preparing and Serving license is required to serve or prepare food and/or drink within the city of Philadelphia. This license must be renewed annually.

This license is required of anyone operating a food establishment where food is prepared or served for public consumption. This includes restaurants, delis, caterers, bars, grocery stores making sandwiches and serving beverages, Child care facilities, etc.

There are two categories of licensure:

Food Preparing and Serving (Small) License

  • This category includes food establishments that have up to 29 seats / no seating and other operations, such as child care and religious organizations that prepare and/or serve food.

Food Preparing and Serving (30+ seats, Large) License

  • This license is required of any food establishment with 30 or more customer seats.

Refer to the Guide to Starting a Food-related Business and Title 6-301 of the Philadelphia Code for full license details.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CURRENT LICENSE HOLDERS


How to Apply

Apply online now via eCLIPSE or in person by visiting the Public Services Concourse of the Municipal Services Building.

Eligibility Requirements

Renewal Requirements

  • Must be current on the payment of all City of Philadelphia taxes.

Fee(s)

  • Initial Application
    • There is a non-refundable application fee of $20.00 which is applied towards the cost of the license. The balance of the license fee is due upon application approval.
    • License Fee:
      • Food Preparing and Serving (Small)-$285
      • Food Preparing and Serving (30+ seats, Large)-$415
  • License Renewal Application
    • Food Preparing and Serving (Small)-$285
    • Food Preparing and Serving (30+ seats, Large)-$415

 

Payment Information

RETURNED CHECKS: If your check is returned unpaid for insufficient or uncollected funds, (1) you authorize The City of Philadelphia or its agent to make a one-time electronic fund transfer from your account to collect a fee of $20; and (2) The City of Philadelphia or its agent may re-present your check electronically to your depository institution for payment.

NOTICE TO CURRENT LICENSE HOLDERS:

Based on a new law passed in December 2017, the City of Philadelphia has changed the way it issues food licenses for preparing and serving food.

Effective February 1, 2018, businesses with 30 or more customer seats will be issued Food Preparing and Serving (30+ seats, Large) licenses, and businesses with 29 or fewer customer seats will be issued Food Preparing and Serving (Small) licenses.

Note: as of Friday, February 16, 2018, the deadline for requesting a food license inspection has passed.

Questions

For assistance, please call 3-1-1 or 215-686-8686, if outside Philadelphia.

Additional Information:

Restaurants planning to offer take-out services are often subject to additional zoning approval through the Zoning Board of Adjustment, unless the restaurant is locating in a property that has pre-existing zoning approval for take-out services.

To find zoning information for a property, search the Zoning Map online. This site will give you access to zoning related records for your property.

Completed zoning applications and inquiries must be made in person in the Concourse of the Municipal Services Building. A Zoning Code Examiner will review with you the status of your property.