Resource and Information Available at the City’s Website Here: https://www.auroragov.org/business_services/small_business_services/mobile_food_vendor_toolkit
Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center
Aurora Planning & Zoning Information
Tri-County Health Department
Mobile food vending is another great way to be a part of the city’s culinary scene. While this fast-growing industry offers an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs, getting a food business up and running can be challenging, even for an experienced restaurant owner.
In 2019, the city of Aurora updated its Mobile Food Truck regulations to make it even easier for food truck vendors to operate in Aurora.
What is a mobile food vendor, otherwise known as a food truck?
In Aurora, a mobile food truck is defined as a retail food establishment that is not intended to be permanent, and is a motorized wheeled vehicle, or non-motorized unit such as a trailer, which is designed and equipped to serve food and beverages. It operates in either a static or transitory location, and serves the public between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The vendor physically reports to and operates from a commissary kitchen for servicing, restocking and maintenance each operating day.
Is mobile food vending right for you?
If you are considering starting a mobile food service operation in Aurora, this “Mobile Food Vendor Toolkit” can provide information needed to turn this idea into reality. It includes resources for required permits and license applications, sample contracts and explanations of the guidelines to starting a new mobile food service.
This toolkit does not address all of the legal issues that may arise for a prospective mobile food service. When using this toolkit, consider the following:
There are many great resources out there to help you start a mobile food vending business. The Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers free one-on-one virtual consulting and free or low-cost training. The “Fired Up: I Want to Start a Business!” webinar is free (register at www.Aurora-SouthMetroSBDC.com/training). There are more resources at the Aurora-South Metro SBDC website.
Developing a business plan, identifying a legal resource and preparing for certain taxes and licensing requirements are all parts of planning for your success. The Aurora-South Metro Small Business Development Center offers free and low-cost seminars that can answer questions on these topics and more. Contact [email protected] or (303) 326-8686 for details.
Make sure that your mobile food vending business complies with the necessary requirements in Aurora and other jurisdictions.
Tri-County Health Department: Vendors also will need a mobile retail food service license issued through Tri-County Health Department, which authorizes selling to take place in Aurora. The Colorado Retail Food Establishment Rules and Regulations provides complete rules and regulations. A Mobile Food Vendor that has never been licensed by Tri-County Health Department must go through a plan review. For details, call the plan review hotline at 303.846.6230.
Using a Commissary Kitchen: For mobile food trucks operating in Aurora, the food vendor will need to have formal connection to a commissary kitchen. This facility is a fixed, licensed food establishment where vendors assemble and store food as well as clean and sanitize equipment. Possible locations include community kitchens, church kitchens or restaurant kitchens during off-hours. All mobile food equipment will need a written agreement with a certified commissary kitchen to receive a health permit from Tri-County Health Department.
State Sales Tax License: Mobile food vendors will need a Colorado Sales Tax License. The state’s Department of Revenue has a useful FYI guide to understand taxing food.
See the Aurora Mobile Food Truck Ordinance amendment 146-1254 for complete details.
Private Property: Usually will need a written agreement with the property owner to operate.
Street Parking: Certain locations may require additional permits.
Fairs, Festivals and Events: Special events (either one time or re-occurring) can provide additional sources of revenue for your mobile food service. The permit and application process may vary with each event, so be sure to check with the event organizer and the city of Aurora for details.
If in doubt, check with the city’s Planning & Development Services Department to verify whether a location is in the proper zone.