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Starting Your Food-related Business

The Department of Health Guide to Starting a Food Related Business includes detailed instructions, links to applications and contact information. Read the entire guide for a complete explanation of the requirements for each City department.

If you serve, sell or prepare foods or beverages you will need to read this guide carefully to ensure compliance with all local regulations.

There are seven major steps to opening a food-related business.

  • Confirm your location is properly zoned for your intended business with the Department of Licenses and Inspections.
  • Discuss the facility plans with the Health Department’s Office of Food Protection.
  • Submit a Plan Review Application with the Office of Food Protection.
  • Obtain a City of Philadelphia Food Establishment Personnel Food Safety Certificate.
  • Respond to the Office of Food Protection’s feedback from the preliminary plan review. Schedule and pass an inspection of your facility.
  • Apply for and receive your Commercial Activity License required of all businesses in the City of Philadelphia.
  • Obtain the appropriate food license for your type of food-related business.