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What licenses do I need for food services?

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Food services including but not limited to restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, delis, clubs, caterers, and food trucks require the following:  .

There are no trade licenses required for food services in Connecticut.  However, it is suggested to obtain a  Food Service Certification.  For more information please check with the local health department. Additionally, the Department of Public Health (DPH) provides information on the Food Protection Programs.  Contact the agency: (860) 509-7297.  Agency website:

Check with the local planning and zoning officials in addition to the fire marshal.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection requires licensing for:
Bakery:the production of baked goods
Frozen Dessert Retailer:  the sale of frozen desserts at retail, including the sale of ice cream through softserve machines and slushies. If selling scoop and serve ice cream be sure to check with the local health department
Liquor:  the sale of alcoholic beverages
-  Weights & Measures Devices Registration if serving food through a deli ensure that the scales used to weigh the food are properly registered.  Typically the company that leases scales to a deli is responsible for registering the scales.  If purchasing the scales, verify that the scales are registered.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection offers a resource page on their website for things you need to know when starting a food business.

Contact the agency:  (860) 713-6160 or  Agency website:

The U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Alcohol,Tobacco & Firearms requires retailers to register.  For additional information please contact the district or Connecticut offices.  Agency website:
District Offices: Boston (617) 557-1200, New York (718) 650-4000
Connecticut Offices: Hartford (860) 240-3400,  New Haven (203) 773-2060

As of January 1, 2003 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), is responsible for all inquiries regarding the alcohol and tobacco industry.  Agency website:
If offering delivery services for the restaurant, the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires commercial or mixed plates for the delivery vehicle.  Contact the agency at 860-263-5056 or  Agency website:

According to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS), the sale of most food items is subject to sales tax. Therefore, restaurants need to file for a sales and use tax certificate by filing form REG-1 online or through mail.  If buying products from a wholesaler/distributor for the purpose of resale, restaurants need to acquire a Resale Certificate. For more information review Policy Statement 2002(2) Sales and Use Tax on Meals or contact the agency at 1-800-382-9463 (instate only)/860-297-5962 or  Agency website: 

Contact the Connecticut Licensing Info Center ( to learn about further registration considerations. 1-800-392-2122 or Contact form.

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