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Other Considerations

Change of Ownership

Food establishment licenses are not transferable to new owners or new locations. When the ownership of a food establishment will be changing hands, the new owner must apply for a new license. It is important to know that a new license will not be issued until an inspection takes place and a plan review has been conducted, if applicable. Applications must be made at least 30 days in advance of any change to allow time for inspection and processing. Often questions arise asking what constitutes an ownership change. Here are some examples to assist you in determining if an ownership change has occurred.

Corporation name change only - No
Same corporation but change in corporate officers - No
New partner in a partnership - Yes
New owner - Yes
Change in type of ownership  (from one to another type; individual, partnership, joint tenant, or corporation) - Yes

Fair Licensing and STFUs

The Michigan Food Law of 2000 changes how fair concessions are licensed. In the past, one license was needed to operate at multiple state or county fairs. Now, concessions must obtain a temporary license for each fair and notify the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) prior to operating at each site.

An option exists for concessionaires who go to many fairs. It is called a Special Transitory Food Unit (STFU) license. Special requirements to obtain this license include submitting and following standard operating procedures and obtaining a plan review. The license fee is set at $135 whether it is obtained from a local health department or MDARD. Plan review fees vary among health departments and MDARD's plan review fee is $197. The STFU license allows the operator to travel to any fair, festival or event throughout the state under one license. The operator must also obtain at least two fee inspections during the year from MDARD or a local agency. The fee is $90 per inspection.