Retail Food Establishment Licensing

people talking in restaurant kitchen

If You Are Opening a Food Establishment

Learn about:

  • Applying for a license
  • The plan review and pre-inspection process
  • Structural and operational requirements from the Wisconsin Food Code

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Licensing Fees

You must pay a licensing fee to get an annual food and drink license. The fee is based on anticipated gross annual food sales and food handling complexity. There is also a one-time pre-inspection fee which covers:

  • The cost of reviewing plans

  • Working with us on:
    • Equipment installation
    • Proper design and construction of the facility
  • On-site evaluation of the facility before issuing the permit.

Call (608) 242-6515 or email us for more information.

How To Get a Food and Drink License

The City of Madison Clerk's office processes all food and drink applications and fees in Madison and Dane County.

  1. Complete the Food and Drink Licensing Application. For questions, to get help completing this application in another language, or to contact a sanitarian, call Environmental Heath at (608) 242-6515 or email us.
  2. Look up the Licensing Fees.
  3. Send your application and payment to the City Clerk's Office. The address is on the application.
  4. If your establishment is new or remodeled, send a copy of the kitchen plans to:
    • Environmental Health Division, 2300 S. Park St. Suite 2010, Madison, WI, 53713
    • Or email us
  5. Schedule a pre-inspection with us:
    • Call (608) 242-6515 or email us
    • After your application and fee are processed and your pre-inspection is completed, you will get your license.
  6. If you have questions, call us at (608) 242-6515 or email us

We want to better serve you! Fill out our 2-minute anonymous feedback survey about your health inspection.

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