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A permanent food business is an establishment operating at a fixed location for more than twenty-one (21) consecutive days.

The Food Protection Program reviews and approves applications for the construction of new food establishments or the remodeling of existing ones. The process begins by submitting plans to the Food Protection Program. Plans are reviewed to ensure that the establishment will have all the necessary facilities and equipment. Permits are not transferable.

Before you start, please review the Food Service Plan Submittal Tip Sheet.

Change of ownership:
When changing ownership of an existing food establishment, the original owner does not receive a refund or any proration of permit fees and the new owner must apply for a permit to operate.

How to renew an existing food business permit:
If you are renewing an existing food business permit (with no changes to ownership, facility, or menu,) you may do so using our online services portal.

How to get a new food business permit:
Complete the required 3-Step Plan Review process by selecting the tabs below to begin.

Step 1: Permanent food service plan guide

Checklists covering every area of your business.
  • Plan guide for permanent food service plan review
    The Plan Guide is a checklist of items you will need to review and include in your final plans to ensure that you've covered every area of your food business. Use this Plan Guide if you are starting a permanent or catering food service establishment.
  • Attention City of Seattle Plan Review applicants:

    All City of Seattle food plan review submittals MUST be submitted directly to the Health Department. Please check with your local building department for the number of approved Health Department plans required for their building department submittal for special projects.
    • Cover sheet (See Step 2 above)
    • Plan review application (Step 2)
    • Appropriate plan review application fee

Please refer to the Permanent Plan Review Guide above for all other requirements to ensure that plans are complete before submitting to the Health Department.

Step 2: Plan review application

Submit an application for a Plans Examiner to review the proposed plan for your business.

Once you complete your final plans of how your establishment will be set up for business according to the Plan Guides in Step 1, you will need to submit them for review along with the Plan Review Application.

Step 3: Permanent food service permit application

After your business plan has been approved by a Plans Examiner in Step 2, the final step is to apply for a permanent food service business permit.

Plans Examiners

Contact a Plans Examiner for questions about Food Service Plans ONLY. Plans Examiners cannot respond to questions about Temporary Event Permits or Farmers Markets. Contact the Plans Examiner serving the area of King County where your food establishment is located as noted below.

  • For businesses located within the cities of Burien, Seattle, Mercer Island, Shoreline, Vashon Island, and Unincorporated King County (Skyway and White Center only):
    Call the Downtown Food Protection office at 206-263-9566 and ask to speak with a Food Plans Examiner.

  • For businesses located elsewhere in King County (cities not listed above) and in Unincorporated King County:
    Call the Eastgate Food Protection office at 206-477-8050 and ask to speak with a Food Plans Examiner.

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