How To Start A Food Business in North Dakota



1. Determine the license type needed

Determine the license type









Refer to the video to determine if your business will be food processing, a food establishment, or a retail food store.

2. Determine the jurisdiction of the business.

Determine the jurisdiction









The Regulatory Jurisdiction Areas by License Type document will help you determine who will license your business. If you determine that a local agency will be licensing your business, please contact the local agency for guidance.

3. Contact local planning and zoning office

Contact Local Planning and Zoning Office

Make sure to get approval from your city, township, or county prior to investing in your business.

Here are some helpful links you may need before starting your business:


4. Submit Plans and Specifications to the licensing and inspection authority for approval

Submit Plans and Specifications

Prior to constructing, remodeling, or operating a food business in North Dakota, a license application and properly prepared plans and specifications must be submitted to the Division of Food and Lodging for review and approval. Contact or 701.328.1291 with any questions.

5. Written plan approval and certification from applicable agencies

Written Plan Approval

If the Division of Food & Lodging approves your plans, a plan approval letter will be sent to you. Be sure to obtain appropriate certifications from other applicable agencies prior to opening day for your business.

6. Pre-operational inspection prior to license approval and operation

Pre Operational Inspection

An inspector will conduct a pre-operational inspection and license your business.

Annual License Fee Schedule

The Annual License Fee Schedule will help you determine the annual license fees for your business.

Please contact the Division of Food and Lodging with any questions. Our phone number is 701-328-1291 and our email is