MMDHD issues about 1,276 foods service licenses a year in Montcalm, Gratiot, and Clinton counties. Food service establishments include bars, restaurants, churches, coffee shops, vending machines, halls, schools, and temporary events.

When food is prepared or served to the public licensing is normally required by the Food Law of 2000 as Amended. The licensing requirements do not distinguish between paid, free will offering, and free food. We recommend reviewing the license types and contacting us about specific questions about a proposed business or event.

If you are looking to open food service establishments also see our plan review information.

These establishment fall into one of the following license types:

  • Fixed - 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. This is a standard yearly license used by most restaurants.
  • Special Transitory Food Unit - 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. STFUs are also sometimes referred to as kitchen on wheels and are common at fairs and other events.

Notice of Operation for STFUs

  • Mobile – 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.
  • Temporary - 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 14 days.

    Temporary Guidelines

    Temporary License Applications

    Temporary Food License Fee

  • Vending - A vending machine location is a room, enclosure, space, or area where one or more vending machines are installed and operated. Where there are multiple vending machine locations in a building, each shall be licensed separately

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