How to Get a Vending Machine License?

How to Get a Vending Machine License

Vending machines are popular in schools, offices, and supermarkets. You must get a vending machine license before owning and operating it commercially. Obtaining a vending machine license demands you meet certain requirements, e.g. installing and maintaining an approved safety system, and purchasing and keeping suitable insurance. In most jurisdictions, zoning laws require that food sellers (including vending machine operators) be licensed properly. So, how to get a vending machine license in 2023 properly?

Owning and operating different vending machines can generate sufficient passive income, so many consider it a good side hustle. No wonder the vending machine industry became a $52-billion industry in 2021! Moreover, you can introduce technologies such as credit card readers to encourage customers to spend 32% more on your vending machines. That’s how you can set up this business profitably. Read this blog carefully to understand the steps involved in obtaining a vending machine license.

Benefits of owning vending machines

Before learning how to get a vending machine license, you should realize its benefits. Entrepreneurs consider setting up vending machines because these are low-maintenance devices. Moreover, they can expand this business whenever they’re comfortable. Other benefits of vending machines are:

  • You can change a product if it doesn’t sell well.
  • You don’t need a lot of money to establish this business.
  • Owners can collect the money from them whenever they want.
  • You can expand your vending machine at a pace with which you’re okay.
  • Restocking and maintaining these machines doesn’t require much effort too.
  • How to get a vending machine license?

Getting a vending machine license isn’t difficult, but you should know all the major steps before operating the thing. This section will briefly describe the ten stages of getting a vending machine license. So, here’s how business owners obtain this vital license properly in 2023:

Keep it sanitary:- Some states demand you can beverage permits if you’re selling drinks. Keep it hygienic for a visit from your local public health inspector.

Gather the info:- Understand which permits and licenses you will need. These documents include sales tax numbers, beverage permits, food service licenses, and others.

Sign a contract:- Many vending machine business owners sign an agreement with the owners of the locations where they are installing these machines. You can get exclusive rights to place vending machines there.

Get an EIN:- One of the most critical documents includes your EIN or employee identification number. You should get it for free from the IRS and become eligible to pay taxes to local and state governments.

Establish an LLC:- How to get a vending machine license without an LLC? You shouldn’t! An LLC means you’re protected from liabilities if your vending machine harms someone.

Submit a form:- Download an online from your state’s website, and don’t forget to sign it at the end. Mention all the vending machines you operate, including the address and the products you’re selling.

Pay the fees:- Every state has different fee requirements that range from a few to hundreds of dollars. In Ohio, for instance, you pay $25 for every vending machine you own. In Massachusetts and other states, there’s a standard fee of $10 per vending machine.

Apply via mail:- Next, you shall apply for a license by sending the properly filled-out form. Some folks prefer sending the application by post. However, it’s easier to apply electronically. You can wait a few weeks before the state sends you the much-anticipated operating license.

Replace expired items:- Now, it’s your job to maintain all vending machines, collect the money, pay the taxes, and restock them regularly. Also, you must replace expired products to prevent a healthcare issue from arising.

Renew the license:- Don’t forget to renew the license when it expires by following the abovementioned process.

These steps have explained how to get a vending machine license in different American states. Now, not all states require a license like that! For instance, you can sell cigarettes from vending machines without getting a license. So, research your state’s vending machine license requirements properly.

Vending machines: Products and locations

Let’s discuss what kind of products you can sell from vending machines and where to install them. A vending machine can sell various objects; some countries sell stuff beyond your imagination. For instance, Japanese vending machines may sell rifles, seafood, and ice cream. In the USA, however, normal products include pencils, t-shirts, pet food, nail polish, edible items, e.g., cookies, hair/skincare/fitness products, and even electronic accessories.


Which vending machine products are best-sellers?

Selling soda, chips, and candy bars can make you decent money in a vending machine business.

How much electricity do these machines consume?

A vending machine consumes 2,500 to 4,400 kWh of energy annually.

How to get a vending machine license cost-effectively?

In states like New Jersey, you pay a small fee of $100 for your first food-selling vending machine and then just $20 for any additional machines.

Is the income from vending machines taxable in any state?

It depends on the products you’re selling. As per The Minnesota Department of Revenue, selling licorice, cookies, muffins, and bottled water via vending machines doesn’t generate taxable income.


To summarize the contents of this blog, installing vending machines in most states isn’t possible without obtaining certain permits and licenses. So, how to get a vending machine license? First, you should get an EIN, after which you shall establish an LLC (since the vending machine income is mostly taxable). A vending machine owner then submits a form for getting the license, pays the fee, and applies for it. Wait two weeks, and you’ll get the license for owning a vending machine. Renew the license when it expires.


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