Food, Pools, and Lodging Services (FPLS)
The Food, Pools, and Lodging Services Section at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), along with locally delegated public health agencies, licenses and inspects food, pool and lodging establishments in Minnesota.
We License the Following
A license is required if you plan to sell food and/or beverages in Minnesota.
- Food cart
- Mobile food unit
- Restaurant and/or bars
- Seasonal temporary food stand
- Seasonal permanent food stand
- School food service
- Special event food stand
Public Swimming Pools and Spas
A license is required for any public swimming pool other than a private residential pool.
A license is required for businesses in Minnesota that provide overnight sleeping accommodations as defined in Minnesota Statutes, section 157.15.
- Bed & breakfast
- Bunk houses with camper cabins
- Board and lodging with special services
- Hotel or motels
- Housing with services (PDF)
- Manufactured home parks
- Medical lodging
- Recreational camping areas
- Vacation home rentals
- Youth camps
We DO NOT License the Following
- Convenience stores
- Grocery stores
- Meat markets/in store delis
- Vending machines
- Wholesale food manufacturing plants
For information about starting the following types of businesses contact the Minnesota Department of Agriculture at MDA.FoodLicensingLiaison@state.mn.us.
Find Your Inspector
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has a delegation agreement with some local health agencies (city, county) to provide licenses for food and beverage, pools and spas and lodging establishments in Minnesota. MDH is responsible for the remaining areas of the state.
The location (city or county) of the establishment determines which agency will provide the license. See Licensing Jurisdiction to find out which agency you will need to contact regarding your licensing concerns.
Plan Review is Required
For New Construction, Remodeling and Additions of All Licensed Establishment
For MDH Jurisdictions - MDH must approve food service, public swimming pool and lodging plans before new construction or remodeling may begin. You will need an approved plan review for new construction, remodeling and additions. This includes temporary food services, such as mobile food units, seasonal permanent food stands, seasonal temporary food stands, and food carts.
Plan Review and License Fees Including Definitions
Statewide Hospitality Fee
In 2005, the Minnesota Legislature created a Statewide Hospitality Fee for all food, beverage, and lodging establishments licensed in the state.
Onsite Feeding Locations, Food Shelves and Food Banks
This guide outlines food safety measures to reduce the risk of foodborne illness when providing food to neighbors in need. It helps donors, distributors, groups serving donated food and regulators follow consistent and uniform interpretation of food safety regulations.
Casinos and Tribal Land
For information regarding health regulations in casinos or on tribal land, see Indian Health Service.
Licensing Statutes and Rules
- Food and Beverage: MN Statute 157 and MN Rules 4626
- Lodging: MN Statute 157.011, MN Statute 327.10, MN Statute 327.70, and MN Rules 4625
- Pools: MN Statute 157 (licensing), MN Statute 144.1222, and MN Rules 4717
- Manufactured Home Park and Recreational Camping Areas: MN Statute 327.10 – 327.28, and MN Rules 4630
- Youth Camp: MN Statute 157 (licensing), MN Statute 144.71 to 144.74, and MN Rules 4630
- Certified Food Protection Manager: MN Statute 157 and MN Rules 4626.0033
- Statewide Hospitality Fee: MN Statute 157
- Enforcement: MN Statute 144.989 to 144.993
For licensing questions and concerns, contact the Food, Pools, and Lodging Services Section.