What the Food and Lodging Program Does
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.
How to Get a License From the Health Department
You need to take several steps before getting a license to operate a food or lodging business in Vermont. The process from start to finish may take about 30 days. You might need to contact other agencies to get permits during this process, which may make the process take longer, so please plan accordingly.
Your first step is to determine which type of license you need. Once you know which type of license you need, click on the link below and follow the steps on that web page.
Retail service - If you're licensing a restaurant, commercial catering business, food truck, pushcart, retail bakery, limited operation, seafood vending or shellfish reshipping/repacking business.
Food processing - If you're licensing a manufacturing facility to make products like salsa, sauce, salad dressing, coffee, beverages, snacks, candy, chocolate, condiments, jam and jelly, etc. Warehouses and distribution centers also need this type of license.
Lodging - If you're licensing a hotel, motel, tourist home or B&B that offers three or more guest rooms OR fewer units if you also prepare food.
Home-based food business - If you want to sell certain allowable home-prepared foods to customers.
Temporary food service - If you’re licensing a temporary stand to sell prepared food at a farmers market, fair or other special event.
In rare cases, a license is not required. Learn more about license exemptions