Food Markets

Licensing-Related Information

How to Get Licensed


Renewal notices are sent out 60 days before your expiration date. Renew Online

In conjunction with RIDOH, CommerceRI and the Department of Business Regulation have created a general overview and road map of how to navigate entrance into the restaurant industry, including guiding users through obtaining necessary local and state permits and licenses.  Access the information at 'How to Open a Restaurant in Rhode Island'.

You need a license if you intend to sell any edible substance, ice, beverage, or ingredient used or intended for use or for sale in whole or in part for human consumption. If you have tables and chairs you may be licensed as a food service operator. If you have a soft serve ice cream machine you will also need a frozen dessert license. If you make sausage you will need a meat processor license. If you serve hot food you may need a manager certified in food safety. If you have a new, substantially renovated (more than 50% of the value of the establishment), or unlicensed facility, you need to present your building and operations plan to us for review and approval ‐ in addition to your business application. If you have any questions call the Center for Food Protection at 401-222-2749.

Food Business Applications that Involve On-Site Drinking Water Wells and/or On-Site Wastewater Treatment Systems

This pre-application should be completed by applicants who want to start a business that is not serviced by a municipal water system and/or a public sewer system. Staff from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) or Department of Environmental Management (DEM) will contact you to provide further guidance regarding what steps may be necessary to get your business approved. The purpose of this pre-application is to provide general guidance about the scope of your project and the requirements under current regulations and laws.