For Street Vendors

Establishing an LA County Sidewalk Vending Ordinance and providing a legal pathway through a County-led permitting process for street vendors

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Overview

LA County is considering a new law that will allow residents to legally operate a sidewalk vending operation in the public right of way in the unincorporated areas of the County. This initiative is prompted by the Safe Sidewalk Vending Act (SB 946), passed in 2019 to decriminalize street vending throughout the State of California and to allow local authorities to develop guidelines and infrastructure to formalize the street vending industry.

DEO, with support from local and regional partners, is here to help sidewalk vendors start up and thrive in our growing one-air economy, while also ensuring safe and healthy communities through compliant sidewalk vending operations.

Once the LA County Board of Supervisors approve the sidewalk vending ordinance, no person, for themselves or any person, may engage in any sidewalk vending, including selling, or offering for sale any food or merchandise without first obtaining a Sidewalk Vending Registration Certificate.

DEO only regulates sidewalk vending in the unincorporated areas of LA County. If you are vending in any of the 88 cities, please refer to your local jurisdictional Sidewalk Vending authority for more information on compliance in your city. Find a listing of local city street vending programs here.

What is a street vendor?

A street vendor is any entrepreneur operating a point of sale from a public right of way for food or retail merchandise from a conveyance (pushcart, table, rack).  Sidewalk food vendors, also known as Compact Mobile Food Operations (CMFO), are a type of mobile food facility that operates from any of the following:

  • An individual, stand, showcase, rack, or display – may be exempt from permitting if offering less than 25 square feet of prepackaged non-potentially hazardous food 
  • A stand, showcase, rack, display – limited to the sale of prepackaged non-potentially hazardous foods 
  • A pushcart, pedal-driven cart, wagon, or other nonmotorized conveyance – may be approved for limited food preparation 

Visit the Department of Public Health CMFO Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for more information on operating a CMFO.

Is a food truck considering a sidewalk food vendor?

Although food trucks are also selling street food, food trucks, also called mobile food facilities, are different from CMFO. When acquiring the appropriate license/permits, mobile food facilities can sell a variety of foods, from prepackaged chips and soda cans to full meals prepared in the truck.  

There are many rules and regulations that determine how people can prepare and sell food. Those rules are designed to protect the health and safety of the public. For mobile food facilities that are allowed in Los Angeles County, such as trucks and carts, operators must have permits, pass inspection, and follow the rules about handling food. Every approved food truck and cart in Los Angeles County should have a Letter Grade and a certification sticker indicating that it is a permitted food facility. 

How to report a problem with street vending activity?

Step One: Find Your Sidewalk Vending Jurisdiction

Check your location with your home address using the Registrar Recorder’s Precinct Maps or a local business address near your street vending activity using the Treasurer and Tax Collector District Locator.

Step Two: Report a Sidewalk Vending Problem

Report a food truck or cart activity operating in the unincorporated area of LA County, call the Office of Small Business at 323-208-9019 or email osb@opportunity.lacounty.gov. Please include details about the problem, exact location of the sales, types of items sold, day and times of operations, and a description of the vendor is doing in your report.

Get Help

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment with DEO’s business concierge services at the East LA Entrepreneur Center! Visit here.

Call or Email

Call 323-208-9019 or email osb@opportunity.lacounty.gov to connect!

Visit

Visit the Office of Small Business M-F from 8:30am to 4:30am at 4716 E. Cesar E. Chavez, Los Angeles 90022!