By   July 21, 2015

food truck lawIf you’re not ready to get rid of your food truck but are no longer running your business, you’ll likely be considering renting your truck. Whether you are renting your truck for short or long term periods, there are quite a few things to think about:

1.       Maintenance Schedule

It is typically the responsibility of the truck owner to handle the regular maintenance of the truck. Prior to renting we strongly suggest you work out a plan for the upkeep of the truck and where the work will be done.  If you are drafting a lease agreement, be sure to separate the responsibility of the repairs due to wear and tear (i.e. oil changes) vs. damage caused by the lessee.

2.       Insurance

It is up to you if you want to include the insurance on the food truck you are leasing.  Renters often provide basic auto insurance and leave it to the lessee to obtain supplementary insurance if they wish to do so. Be sure to clearly define what you will and will not offer in the lease agreement.

3.       Security Deposits

Even if insurance will cover any major damage to the truck, a security deposit can come in handy.  It can be used to cover any unpaid traffic or parking violations, unpaid claim deductibles, or small repairs that may not warrant an insurance claim. It also helps to ensure renters take good care of your truck.

4.       Mileage Limits

Including limits for mileage in your lease agreement helps ensure the truck will be kept local. Due to the weight of the kitchen, food trucks don’t usually do well with long haul travel.  It’s up to you if you want to make exceptions for lessees who want to attend festivals and events out of town. If it is more than 50 miles we recommend shipping the truck via flatbed.

5.       Alterations / Modifications

In most cases your renter will have chosen your truck because it has all the equipment he/she requires to operate.  If you agree to allow modifications to the interior of the truck, be sure to check with your local health department. Changing the equipment may cause your current permits to be voided. Exterior modifications, like the installation of a graphic wrap, do not affect the permits of the truck but they can cause underlying paint damage. It’s a good idea to get a small deposit for paint touch-up if a wrap is to be installed. You can refund the money if the truck is returned with no external damage.

6.       Licensing

Every city, county, and state have their own rules for licensing food truck businesses. Typically both a business license and a food truck-specific permit are required to operate. As the county operating permit is usually linked to the truck, truck owners usually take care of permits for the main county where the truck is used. Additional permits (for nearby counties or special zones) are left to the renter to secure.

7.       Commissary / Parking

Some counties require that food trucks be registered with a licensed commissary. It’s a good idea to use a commissary even if it is not required by law.  Commissaries are usually secured parking areas, you’ll have access to proper cleaning facilities and you typically have easy access to propane and ice to restock.  This type of parking does have a cost and it may be one that your renter tries to avoid. It’s a good idea to discuss what you require for truck storage when it is not in use.

8.       Lease Agreements

We always recommend you have any renter sign an agreement so that both parties can be protected and have a clear understanding of what is expected. If you’re serious about renting or leasing your food truck you can purchase a sample food truck lease and checklist for $99. This package is specific to the food truck industry and includes options for all the above categories.

If you’re looking for a place to list your truck for rent, check out foodtruckrental.com

For personal legal counsel and legal help relating to your food truck business, we recommend Hiller Counsel