Vending Machine License & Permit Guide

Like any business, a vending machine business needs certain licenses and permits to operate legally. The licenses/permits you'll need largely depends on a) where you live, and b) what products you'll be selling in your vending machine.

This page is divided into 3 sections: 1) Federal, 2) State and 3) City/County. You won't necessarily need licenses/permits from all three levels of government, but it's important to consider all of them to make sure you're in full compliance with the law.


You may need a "Food/Beverage Service License" if your vending machine sells certain food and/or beverage items. Review the FDA Food Business Guide to determine whether you'll need this license.

When placing your vending machine, you also need to make sure you are in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). In a nutshell, you need to ensure that disabled people (such as those confined to a wheelchair) can easily access your vending machine. But you'll of course want to review the ADA Small Business Primer publication to make sure you understand the law.


Click on your state below to see information about what vending machine licenses and permits may be required in your state. (Note: We've tried to identify the best resource for all 50 states; but since state websites are constantly changing and being updated, we can't guarantee that every page is "live" and up to date. If necessary, just search Google for "[state] vending machine licenses and permits".)


In addition to obtaining the required state licenses and/or permits, you should also check with your city and county government (including your local health department) to see if there are any additional licenses or permits you need to legally operate a vending machine business. Your city/county government may require one or more of the following: a vendor’s license, a local food service license, a resale license/permit, a vending location license fee, or some other license or permit.

Legal Disclaimer: The information on this page is for reference only and should not be considered legal or tax advice. It is up to you to ensure that you obtain all of the required licenses and permits and comply with all federal, state and local laws and ordinances.