Food Service Establishment License

Department of Inspections & Appeals


License to operate an establishment that prepares or serves food for individual portion service intended for consumption on the premises, or where prepared food are subject to Iowa sales tax as provided in Iowa Code Section 423.3. Examples of operations required to obtain a food service establishment license are restaurants, bars, tap rooms, concession stands, catering operations, and commissaries. Does NOT include farmer\’s market food establishments, food processing plants, home bakeries, mobile food establishments (e.g. food trucks), retail food establishments (e.g. grocery stores), temporary food establishments, vending machines, unattended food establishments. Search all licenses from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals if you are interested in one of these other food-related licenses.

Code Citation Iowa Code Chapter 137F

Who Applies A person wishing to operate a food service establishment must obtain a license.

When To Apply Application must be received at least 30 days prior to the intended operating date and the license issued before the establishment begins operation.

Initial Requirements All regulatory requirements must be met before a license is issued.

Duration License expires one year from the date issued.

Processing Time 30 days.

Fee Structure License: $150 to $400, based on annual gross sales.

Renewal Requirements Renewal applications and fees must be received prior to the license expiration date.

Exam Does not apply.

Additional Information Online applications and renewals are preferred, and are processed faster than paper applications. Renewals can be submitted up to 60 days prior to the license expiration date.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Food and Consumer Safety Licensing
Lucas State Office Building, Third Floor
321 E 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319