We license food establishments to make sure food is safe and prevent foodborne illness. All new food establishments must complete a permit application and pay permit and pre-inspection fees.

Licensing Fees

The one-time, pre-inspection fee covers:

  • the cost of reviewing plans
  • consulting with the sanitarian on equipment installation and proper design and construction of the facility
  • on-site evaluation of the facility prior to releasing the permit.

A set of building plans, whether for new or remodeled facilities, must be provided to the sanitarian.

The licensing fee is paid to obtain an annual food license. The amount of this fee is based upon anticipated gross annual food sales and type of operation.

A pre-inspection must be scheduled prior to opening. The food license will be issued after fee payment and approval of the facility operations and equipment by the health department.

Please call (608) 242-6515 for more information.

Licensing Process

To alleviate some of the financial burden on our licensed establishments due to COVID-19, we have reverted our license fees back to 2019 rates effective April 2, 2020.

All food related licensing fees in Madison and Dane County are handled by the City of Madison Clerk's Office.

  1. Complete the Food and Drink Licensing Application.
  2. Pay Food and Drink Licensing Fees.
  3. Submit application and fee to the City Clerk's Office listed on the application.
  4. For new establishments or remodels, send a copy of the floor plans to the Health Department, 2300 S. Park St, Suite 2010, Madison, WI, 53713 or email Public Health.
  5. Food and Drink licenses are issued after the application and fees have been processed and an inspector conducts a pre-inspection and approves the license.
  6. For questions and/or a pre-inspection, please contact the Health Department.