A license is required of any vendor selling from a sidewalk stand, a pushcart, a motor vehicle or by foot. In addition to the license, the City of Philadelphia Code limits or prohibits vendors from selling in certain areas. In order for a vendor to sell food, approval is needed from the Office of Food Protection prior to obtaining a license.
Types of Vendors:
Foot Vendor: the taking of orders, and as a separate transaction, making deliveries to purchasers. A license is required for any period from one day to one year. Examples include vendors selling bottled water or other items on foot, rather than setting up on the sidewalk.
Motor Vehicle Vendor: offers goods for sale from a motorized wagon or vehicle. An annual license is required for operating one day or up to one year.
Pushcart Vendor: offers goods for sale from a non-motorized wagon, cart or stand. A license is required for any period from one day to one year.
Sidewalk Sales Vendor: anyone who exhibits, displays, offers for sale or sells any goods, wares or merchandise from any stand while on the sidewalks of the City of Philadelphia.
Note: A Pushcart Vendor License is appropriate for vendors who use something like a handcart or buggy that is moved continuously, stopping only to make individual sales. A Sidewalk Sales Vendor License is appropriate if a vendor sets up a cart or table on the sidewalk and remains their most of the day or for a period of time.
Newsstand: a stand or other sales device on the sidewalk for the display and sale of newspaper, magazines, periodicals, paper bound books, tobacco products, wrapped candy and State Lottery tickets.
Curb Market Vendor: the operation of a curbside business in a non-permanent structure, in certain specified locations throughout the city such as South 9th Street, etc.
Vendor Application The paper form is provided for new license applicants. License holders are encouraged to renew this license online.
License Application and Renewal Online
This license can be renewed online, with a valid email address. Renewals can also be made in the Municipal Services Building – Concourse Level (1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard). In-person renewals will also require an email address.
Choosing Your Location:
Locations throughout the city are designated as prohibited for vending and sidewalk sales. Other Special Vending Districts only allow a limited number of vendors and use a waitlist or lottery to add new vendors. The City’s Vending/Sidewalk Sales Map displays the prohibited streets, the prohibited areas, and the Special Vending Districts. Visit www.phila.gov/map and search for Vending / Sidewalk Sales in the Map Browser.
The Special Vending Districts and Neighborhood Vending Districts include the following location and require a special application.
- Center City – additional vendors are only added through a periodic lottery. Lotteries are announced in city newspapers. In addition to vending fees, there is a $50 application fee for Center City District.
- University City – additional vendors are only added through an application and waitlist. An additional fee of $3,000.00 per year is required for truck parking in an assigned parking space.
- Germantown Corridor Business District – From Germantown and York to Germantown and Butler, requires an additional $50.00 application fee.
- Central Germantown Business District – Area boundaries are the south side of Wissahickon Avenue to the north side of Baynton Street, the east side of W. Queen Lane to the west side of Harvey Street to High Street
- North Front Street
- 52nd Street Business District for Sidewalk Vending
- Morris Street
- Oregon Avenue Business Corridor District
For more information on the special districts or to confirm whether a location is permissible, please contact the Vending Unit at 215-686-2414, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Federal Tax Identification Number or Social Security Number
- City of Philadelphia Tax Account Number
- Commercial Activity License
- Vending License (The paper form is provided for new license applicants. License holders are encouraged to renew this license online.)
Additional Approvals, if food will be sold
- Health Department Approval
- Food Establishment, Retail Non-Permanent Location
- Weighing and Measuring License (if applicable)
Additional Information for license application:
- A physical description of the applicant, proof of identity and address, together with two (2) photographs, not less than two (2) inches square, nor more than three (3) inches square.
- A brief description of what is to be sold and whether produced, grown, made, manufactured or assembled by the applicant.
- If employed by another, the name and address of person, firm organization, etc.
- If motor vehicle is to be used, a description (year & make) of the vehicle along with the registration number and license number. If leased, a copy of leasing agreement.
Cost: $330 per license (one for each motor vehicle or pushcart).