The Food and Lodging Program works to protect health and prevent disease by promoting sanitation and food safety. To accomplish this, we license and inspect over 6,000 places where food is prepared, served, processed, or stored. We also regulate lodging facilities including hotels, bed & breakfasts, and children’s camps.
If you sell food or offer lodging to the public, you will need a Health Department license in most cases. The Food & Lodging Program is here is to assist you in that process.
How to Get a License From the Health Department
- Determine which license you need, and review the regulations. Find information if you have a home-based food business.
- Submit an application and license fees by mail 30 days before opening.
- Wait for a health inspector to contact you to discuss your plans and schedule an opening inspection, usually within 10 business days. Contact a public health inspector if you have questions about the inspection.
- Contact other state and local agencies as needed. Search for a wastewater permit or contact a DEC specialist if you have questions about wastewater permits.
- Complete an opening inspection. You are approved to begin operating after you pass an opening inspection and have all permits from other agencies in place. The license will be mailed to you within 10 business days.
In rare cases, a license is not required. Learn more about license exemptions