Fixed Food Establishments

Starting a Food Business

In order to begin a food business a new Certificate of Occupancy (CO) must first be applied for through the Permit Center. The Permit Center may be contacted at or (512) 805-2630.

If alcohol is going to be served at a new food establishment a new Conditional Use Permit (CUP) will need to be applied for through Planning and Development Services. Their contact information is 512-393-8230 or

Building plans may need to be submitted to Planning and Development depending on if any modifications or renovations will be made. All necessary permits that need to be pulled will also be addressed by Planning and Development. For all new COs that will be food establishments Health will require floor plans to be provided that include location of kitchen equipment, materials of floors, walls, and ceilings, all back flow prevention devices for equipment connected to water, and indirect connections of equipment shown. We also require the sizing, capacity, and condition of the grease trap to be provided in writing. A recent manifest will also suffice. If no grease trap exists a grease trap will most likely be required to be installed. See below in the documents for an example of an acceptable floor plan.

Sanitarians are available to consult over the phone or on site regarding what will be required by health code in a food establishment. The first guidance document below also gives a list of many, but not all, of the requirements for a food establishment to pass the opening health inspection.

A separate food permit will need to be applied for in addition to the CO. In order to open the CO inspections must be scheduled and passed with the building department, Fire Prevention, and Environmental Health. To request the building inspection and Fire Prevention inspections call the Permit Center. To schedule the health inspection contact Environmental Health with the information below. Inspections will not be scheduled without a completed and paid for permit application.

If there are any questions contact San Marcos Environmental Health at or (512) 393-8444.

Before applying online please look over the short instructions for how to apply online HERE.

To apply for a food permit online follow the below link. You will need to create a new account if you do not already have one. When applying for the food permit insure that the jurisdiction selected is San Marcos not Hays County.