How to Apply for a Food Service License

Do you own/operate a grocery store or convenience store?
If so, you need to complete and submit a Michigan Food Establishment License Application.

Food Service Establishments

Food Service Licensing Details and FAQ may be found here.

Food Service establishments, which include restaurants, cafeterias, delicatessens, mobile units, temporary food service establishments, and special transitory food units (definitions located at bottom of page), are licensed via local/county health departments who set their own fees. All new food service establishments use a single application form EXCEPT for temporary food service establishments such as those found at state and county fairs, which use a form separate from the rest. Both forms may be found below.

If you wish to license a food service establishment other than a temporary one, contact your Local Health Department. You can find the application below (but will need to contact your LHD for fee information). Previously licensed facilities will receive a pre-printed renewal application form each spring. A new application form must be filled out for: 

  • New establishments
  • Change of ownership
  • Change in physical location of establishment
  • Change of license type

PLEASE NOTE: Sales of prepared food are subject to the 6% sales tax in Michigan. Please refer to Revenue Administrative Bulletin 2009-8 Sales Tax - Food for Human Consumption for more information. Register for Michigan taxes here.

Download the Food Service License Application


  1. Click on the application link above, and open the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader (if you don't already have it installed in your web browser) and print it out. 
  2. Complete all applicable parts of Sections 1-6. Be sure to sign the application.
  3. Renewal applications and fee must be submitted 30 days prior to proposed opening date.
  4. For new establishments, the local health department will conduct a plan review, as needed, and then conduct an on-site pre-opening inspection when the establishment is ready to operate.

Obtaining a Temporary Food Service License



  1. Click on the application link above and open the file using Adobe Acrobat Reader (if you don't already have it installed in your web browser) and print it out.
  2. Complete all applicable parts of Sections A-F and complete Attachment A, if applicable. Be sure to sign the application.   
  3. Contact your local health department for fee and mailing address.
  4. Make checks payable to your local health department.
  5. Return completed application form along with the fee to your local health department at least 30 days prior to the event.
  6. The local health department will conduct an on-site inspection when your establishment is ready to operate and issue the actual operating license.


Type of Food Service / Description 


A temporary food service establishment means a food service establishment, which operates at a fixed location for a temporary period of time not to exceed 2 weeks. 


A fixed establishment is a facility that is a permanent location. This is an operation where food or drink is prepared for direct consumption through service on the premises or elsewhere, and any other eating or drinking establishment or operation where food is served or provided for the public.


A mobile food service establishment means a food service establishment operating from a vehicle, trailer, or watercraft which is not fully equipped for full food service and, therefore, must return to a licensed commissary at least once every 24 hours for servicing and maintenance. The commissary license number must be recorded in the appropriate place in order for this application to be processed. 

Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU)

A special transitory food unit (STFU) is a temporary food establishment licensed to operate throughout the state without the 14-day limits or a mobile food establishment that is not required to return to a commissary. 

Each application for a license shall pay to the local health department having jurisdiction the required sanitation service fees and an additional state license fee (at the time an application is submitted).