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Adding a vending machine or two to your lobby or office can bring in an extra revenue stream with minimal effort. But before you start raking in the money, start by getting your vending machine/device permit.

Each state requires you to have a vending machine license before you can install a device on your premises. If the machine takes money in exchange for food, drink, or anything else, it’s considered a vending machine, and needs a business license.

Making Sure Your Vending Machine is Sanitary

In addition to your vending machine permit, you may also need to get it inspected by your local health department. Because there is food involved, your public health department wants to ensure that it meets certain safety requirements, and that the food in the machine hasn’t expired.

Contact your city’s business licenses, permits & tax board to schedule an inspection, if required.

Applying for Your Vending Machine Permit

Before filing your application, gather all the required information together to make it easy. Start with the following:

  • Beverage license, if your machine will sell beverages
  • Federal Employer Identification Number
  • Sales tax number
  • Food service license, if necessary
  • Plan for where you will install the vending machine

Once you have filled out the vending machine/device license application, you will be contacted to set up an opening inspection. At this point, the machine should be in place where you plan to keep it, so that the inspector can determine if the location and items in the machine meet the city’s regulations.

Your Role as Vending Machine Owner

It is your responsibility to schedule stocking of the machine with a reputable vendor who will replace expiring food with fresh items, and make sure the machine is sanitary at all times. You as the owner should also inspect it regularly for the same reasons.

Make sure the machine is operable at all times, and that your contact information is on the machine, should there be a problem. Keep your license up to date by paying your renewal fees before they are due.

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