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How to start a street food stall

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by Startacus Admin

How to start a street food stall...Some key points explained

The Stall

Street Food is sold from many different types of stall - and the type that you opt for will will ultimately depend upon the location that you have secured and the budget that you have. To get you start a food stallthinking - some of the places that you could sell your street food from are; market stalls, pop up stalls, sandwich delivery vans, ice cream vans, coffee delivery vans and other converted vehicles. One of the great benefits of using a converted vehicle is that it can be easily transported from place to place, but many people opt for a semi-permanent structure because it makes for easier daily set up and a guaranteed trading space.  

Location and Licensing

Again the location that you choose depends upon a whole range of factors. Some of the most common places that food vendors choose to set up shop are licensed locations in town centres (particularly pedestrianised zones), street markets, food markets, indoor markets and car parks. Within most town centres there are areas which are specifically earmarked for use by street traders - beyond these areas street trading is often strictly forbidden. For many of the permanent trading spaces the local council will offer long term leases of around 6 months to 1 Year.  To find out all the information you will need and to apply for a street trading license click here (  NB that if you are planning to locate within a licensed market venue.

Health and Safety

The health and safety regulations of running a street food stall are no different from the rules and regulations which are implemented in any commercial/food serving environment. You should carry out a health and safety risk assessment, write a health and safety policy, provide training (including food safety)  to your staff, provide the appropriate welfare facilities for your staff and have appropriate first aid provisions.  If your stall is located within a licensed market venue then you must make sure that facilities are available there for your staff.

You will also be required to carry out a daily documented food hygiene management system which follows the rules of hazard analysis & critical control points (HACCP) which is vital in reducing the risk of food related illnesses. You can find all the information you need about creating and maintaining HACCP records by clicking here.

As you will be serving food you will need to register the premises with your Environmental Health Office at least 28 days before you plan to begin trading, otherwise you will be considered to be an illegal trader and you could face a very hefty fine.

The UK government has some great information on the specifics of health and safety legislation which can be found here (  


It is a common misconception that if you are a temporary or part-time business you do not need to follow the normal rules and regulations which govern larger, more permanent ones. If you are running a business of any size or any kind, even if the only employee is yourself you are legally bound to register with HMRC. The best way of ensuring that your street food stall is fully compliant with the regulations is to register as a sole trader with HM Revenue and Customs. “Sole trader” means that you run your own business (are self employed) and keep all the profits of your venture after tax and national insurance has been paid. It is important to note that the term “sole trader” does not prevent you from taking on other staff.


You will need to get public liability insurance. This covers you against claims made by members of the public who have suffered injury or damage to property in connection with the business - specifically you will need cover which protects you in case someone becomes ill after consuming your food.  If you are planning to employ anyone else to help you with the stall, you will need to get employer liability insurance to make sure that you are covered in the event that a member of staff gets injured during the course of their work.  Click here to get insurance from an insurer who has been authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)


The only certificate/qualification that you need in order to prepare food in your street stall is a Level 2 Certificate in food hygiene which demonstrates a knowledge of the basic principles of food safety. EU law requires that any staff who handle food hold at least this level of accreditation within all food businesses. Aside from this there is absolutely no other qualifications which you need in order to prepare and serve food from your stall.

So clearly there’s still a lot of stuff to consider before starting up your own street-food stall, but it’s really a lot less complicated than it may sound here!

Remember that if you are confused or need a question answered, your first port of call should be where you can find lots of information on registering  your business and the legal side of running it.  If you need some more advice on the specifics of running a food business then pay a visit to  Best of luck and save some for us.

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Published on: 10th February 2014

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