Outdoor Mobile Food Vendor License

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Effective January 1, 2020 - Ordinance 5104 adopted September 12, 2019.

  • A vendor shall not sell within 100 feet of a licensed restaurant, during its kitchen hours, without written permission from said restaurant, unless said vendor is operating within 50 feet of its mobile service base licensed by the La Crosse.
  • A vendor shall not allow any dining area to the food stand/unit, including but not limited to, tables, chairs, booths, stools, benches or stand up counters, unless vending solely on private property or in a public park with approval by the Parks and Recreation, Forestry, Facilities and Grounds.
  • Creates definitions for Food Business and Vendor
  • Provides language to allow for vending in the downtown area during certain hours.

No person shall operate an outdoor food stand or mobile food unit (i.e. food truck) without first obtaining a license. A separate license is required for each stand/unit. See Ch. 10, Art. X of the La Crosse Municipal Code for exemptions, regulations and prohibited and required acts.

Outdoor Food Stand” shall mean a stationary, non-mobile unit, either enclosed or not enclosed, with or without a roof, used to conduct a food business.

Mobile Food Unit” shall mean a vehicle or conveyance on wheels, either motorized or non-motorized, used to conduct a food business.

License Period

January 1 to December 31. Each license shall terminate on December 31st of the year following issuance.

License Fee

$100 is due at the time of filing the application (cash, check payable to City Treasurer or credit with convenience fee).*

The fee is non-prorated when applying within the license period.

*If the outdoor stand/mobile unit is equipped with a cooking or heating appliance, an inspection by the Fire Prevention Bureau will be performed prior to the license being issued and an additional $50.00 fee is due along with the filing fee the time of application.

Insurance Required

Applicant shall procure and maintain for the duration of the license, a minimum liability and contractual liability policy in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) each person, three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000.00) each accident for bodily injury and one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000.00) for property damage. A certificate of such insurance shall be filed with the City Clerk as part of the application. The insurance shall name the City, its officials, employees and agents as additional insureds. The Certificate of Insurance shall provide thirty days written notice to the City upon cancellation, or nonrenewal or material change in policy.

Note: The additional insured endorsement must accompany the Certificate of Insurance at time of application.

How to Apply

Applications shall be made in writing on the form prescribed by law and filed with the City Clerk's Office who may issue the same after appropriate investigation by the Police Department and inspection by Fire Prevention, if applicable. All applications shall be filed at least fifteen (15) days prior to issuance.

The following must accompany the application at time of filing:

  • Wisconsin Seller's Permit Number (in the same legal/real name as applicant or business)
  • Food-related permit issued by the La Crosse County or State of Wisconsin.
  • Vehicle Certificate of Registration/Licensing, if applicable.
  • Certificate of Insurance along with a photocopy of the endorsement naming City of La Crosse as additional insured (a statement alone on the Certificate is not sufficient).
  • Written authorization of the property owner(s) where stand/unit will be located, if applicable.
  • Written authorization if selling within 200 feet of a permanent merchant retailing a similar product (does not apply to the Downtown area).

Sales of food and beverages on premises near La Crosse Center

Pursuant to Sec. 34-23 of the Municipal Code, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer to sell or give away any food or beverage of any kind on any public street, public parking lot, public parking ramp, public alley or public sidewalk between the time four hours immediately preceding the commencement of any scheduled event at the La Crosse Center and the time one hour immediately after the conclusion of any scheduled event within the following boundaries: on the south by the south line of Jay Street, on the north by the north line of Pearl Street, on the east by the east line of Second Street, on the west by the west line of Front Street.


For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (608) 789-7510.

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