Folks interested in starting a catering business, food truck or wholesale food preparation business need to work out of a certified kitchen and have food-safety certification. You should also be aware of the various licenses and requirements for any business in the city and state. Business schools like Wharton, Temple and St Joe’s offer business development programs. Some of them are free and allow eager student entrepreneurs to help you make some big decisions. We recommend some of the resources below to help out with your business plan:

The City of Philadelphia’s Guide to Starting Your Food-Related Business

Licensing Information
Department of Licenses and Inspections
License Issuance Unit & Zoning Department
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215.686.8686 or 311

Plan Review, Food Safety Certification, Inspections or other food related concerns
Department of Public Health/Environmental Health Services
1401 John F. Kennedy Boulevard Concourse Level
Philadelphia, PA 19102

Department of Health/Support for Food Businesses


The US Small Business Administration



Philadelphia requires food service workers to be certified in food safety and handling. During hours when food is being prepared, manufactured, cooked, processed, dressed, served or distributed, every food establishment that sells potentially hazardous food must have a certified manager present. Multiple certified individuals may be required for establishments that have operating hours that extend beyond a single work shift or include a 6-7 day work week. Certificates must be renewed every 5 years.

The ServSafe® Food Safety Training Program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-Conference for Food Protection (CFP). ServSafe training and certification is recognized by more federal, state and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification.

Who should attend? Food service employees in Philadelphia restaurants, coffee houses, bars, schools, healthcare, childcare, self-employed food entrepreneurs.