The City of Independence regulates restaurants and retail food establishments through routine inspections, which are conducted one to three times each year depending on public health risk. Inspection frequency is adjusted if deemed necessary to achieve establishment compliance. Restaurant and retail establishments are regulated by City Code Chapter 11, Articles 9 and 10.
Routine inspections of food establishments are an ongoing process. All food establishments in the City of Independence are routinely inspected one to three times per year depending on Public Health risk. However, if the Health Department deems it necessary establishments may be inspected with more frequency.
All critical violations are corrected within 72 hours by food service establishments*.
*The inspection reports posted on the web may not indicate this correction.
Any individual, business or non-profit organization that is going to distribute or sell food/drinks for human consumption must have a Food Service Permit. This includes permanently-located businesses, mobile food units, and temporary events. Food Service Permits are non-transferable and must be re-purchased upon a change of ownership.
Before a permit can be issued, a Business License must be acquired. Non-profit organizations require a non non-profit exemption letter*. You may apply online at independence.mo.us/BusLicense or in person at one of the following locations between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday-Friday (closed most government holidays):
For more information on business licensing, please call (816) 325-7079
*Non-profit exemption letters are only available at City Hall
Before a business license is issued, pre-planning meetings are often scheduled by the Community Development Department to guide individuals through the process of opening a new business. All commercial projects require professional plan submittal except those facilities that have not had a "change of use." Submittal of plans require a $300 plan review fee.
Once your Business License has been approved, you will need to obtain a Health Permit. The Permit application and fee schedule may be printed from the link below or obtained at the Independence Health Department (515 S. Liberty Street) during normal business hours. Please bring the completed permit application, final menu, and permit fee to the Health Department when ready for the pre-opening inspection. The Health Permit will be issued once your business has successfully passed the opening inspection. For more information, please call (816) 325-7803.
All new and remodeled facilities must go through the building permit process. City Code Chapter 11, Articles 9 and 10 offer information about the construction and maintenance requirements of physical facilities as well as information about acceptable commercial grade equipment. Detailed plans will be required for food service/dining areas. If moving into an existing food establishment with only cosmetic or no changes, please consult with the Environmental Public Health Division at 816-325-7803. Commercial grade food equipment is required for all food establishments with the exception of temporary events.
Effective May 1, 2018, all events taking place in Independence must be approved for a Special Event Permit unless approved prior to May 1 or governed by a separate agreement approved by the City Council. The application must be received 45 days prior to the event.
Any group, organization, or individual who is planning to operate a food booth during a fair, festival, auction, or other temporary event must obtain a Temporary Food Service Permit by following the procedures outlined in How do I get a Food Service Permit? The fee for all Temporary Permits is $50. Application must be received at least five business days prior to the scheduled event. The completed application, verification of business license, and fee should be mailed or delivered to the Independence Health Department at 515 S. Liberty Street. You can also fax to (816) 325-7074, and we will collect the fee over the phone with a credit/debit card.
Mobile Food Unit (MFU) may also be known as a Food Truck (vehicle mounted) or Push Carts (non-self propelled). MFUs must be operated out of a permitted commissary or other permitted fixed food service establishment. Each MFU must also have a permit. At least one MFU operator must have an Independence Food Manager permit; additional workers must have at least an Independence Food Handler permit.