Mobile Food Service

Council recently adopted regulatory changes to allow mobile food vendors (food trucks, trailers, and carts) to operate in select locations in North Cowichan! Mobile food vendors are required to hold a Mobile Service Business Licence to operate in North Cowichan.

View the Business Licence Bylaw [PDF - 1.2 MB], as referenced below.

There are two licencing options:

  • A licence to operate on private property - $200
  • A licence to operate on private property and 6 designated Municipal properties (see pages 8-15 of the Business Licence Bylaw) - $500

To apply for a Mobile Food Service Business Licence, various documents must be submitted along with the Mobile Food Service Business Licence Application Form [PDF - 874 KB] (see page 4 of the Business Licence Bylaw):

  1. approval from Island Health,
  2. approval from BC Safety Authority for equipment operated by propane in the vapour state,
  3. motor vehicle insurance for the mobile food service, as applicable,
  4. liability insurance coverage that
    1. includes an inclusive limit of at least $2 million,
    2. includes public liability, property damage, and cross liability clauses,
    3. names North Cowichan as an additional insured, and
    4. provides that coverage cannot be cancelled or changed without 30 days prior written notice to North Cowichan by the insurer, and
    5. a discharge management plan, approved by the Business Licence Officer that describes how and where fats, oils and grease will be disposed of.

Once a Mobile Food Service Business Licence is granted, mobile vendors must to follow the operating guidelines on page 4-5 of the Business Licence Bylaw.

IMPORTANT: mobile vending is only allowed on properties with certain zoning. It is permitted in all commercial and industrial zones, the rural resources zone (A4), the private institutional zone (PI), and public use zone (PU). The only exception is for coordinated special events like markets, festivals, or concerts, in which case the zoning restriction does not apply.

You can check the zoning on any property by using our interactive web map OR by calling our office to discuss your needs with a Planner.

North Cowichan encourages vendors to consider serving Healthy Choices Options in accordance to the Nutritional Guidelines in Canada's Food Guides. Healthy eating has been proven to have a number of long-term benefits to communities!