You are eligible if you have a valid driver's license and don't owe money to the City. We're unable to issue you a business license if you don't meet these requirements.
UNSURE IF YOU OWE?
You'll need liability insurance for $1,000,000. We'll ask you to upload a copy of the certificate of insurance in the online application. Don't have a copy? Don't worry. You can check the option to have your insurance agent send the certificate. Make sure to list the City of Grand Rapids on the policy as additionally insured.
Have questions? Give us a call at the number listed in the Contact Us section of this page. There are many things that you need to do to apply for the license. We recommend reviewing the Downtown Vendor Checklist(PDF, 185KB) for more details.
Here's a look at the requirements for downtown vending carts:
- Maximum height (including canopy): 10 feet
- Maximum length: 10 feet
- Maximum width: 5 feet
- Between 2-4 functional wheels
- Litter receptacle
- Constructed of durable and easily cleaned material
- Brakes or chocks
- Detachable tongue, hitch, or handle
- Company name
- Price of all merchandise or services
- Health Department Food Permit if you are selling food
Your cart will need to be brought to City Hall for an inspection and may be parked in one of the these locations:
- Calder Plaza
- Ottawa Ave adjacent to Calder Plaza
- The Loading Zone in front of the DeVos Convention Center on Monroe Ave
Please note that the laws regarding the use of a meter or loading zone are still in place. You can park in a loading zone for no more than 20 minutes. You'll need to pay for any meter parking.
We allow mobile vending carts in designated downtown vending zones. Spots in these zones are available on a first-come, first-serve basis only. See the Downtown Vending Zones(PDF, 2MB) guide for designated zones.
There is a $300 license application fee for the first cart and $25 for each extra cart. Application fees are non-refundable. Here's a look at our accepted payment methods:
In Person Payments
- Money order
- Credit or debit cards (Visa, Discover, or MasterCard)
Make sure you have the appropriate payment ready. Refer to step 5 for accepted payment methods.
The Clerk's Office will contact you to schedule an inspection of your cart.
It takes us 5-10 business days to process applications. Keep in mind that it may take longer to process your application if we find that you need to make changes.
We'll call or email you to let you know that your license and vehicle decals are ready. You can either pick them up from the office or we'll mail it to you. Your license is valid through the season.
Make sure to keep a copy of the license with the cart operator. You should display your decals on each cart.
We use a standard licensing year of July 1 through June 30 for all businesses. Your license will expire on June 30 regardless of when you apply. The fees are also the same no matter when you apply during the year. So make sure you plan to get the most out of your license.