Due to extremely cold conditions, the City is implementing special measures to keep people who are homeless safe. If you see someone who needs shelter, call (215) 232-1984.
In effect: 3:00 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 14 until further notice
COVID-19: Learn how to stay safe, get vaccinated, and find testing. Visit phila.gov/covid.

Food business documents

If you want to open and operate a food business in Philadelphia, you need to get the appropriate licenses from the Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I). The forms and instructions on this page will help you through the process.

You can apply for food business licenses from L&I online or take your application to the Permit and License Center in the MSB Concourse. Do not mail applications.

The Department of Health also offers additional information about opening a food business.


Name Description Released Format
Cafe plot plan instructions PDF How to complete a cafe plot plan as part of your sidewalk cafe license application. March 7, 2019
Food business license application PDF Application form for a license to prepare or serve food. December 22, 2020
Guide to opening a stationary food business PDF A guide to starting or changing a stationary food business. October 2, 2020
Sidewalk cafe license application PDF Application form to operate a sidewalk cafe. August 11, 2020