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Food Truck Business Lawyer - Barnes & Thornburg

Food Truck Industry

You've got the concept, the truck and a collection of recipes that can build a customer base. But the realities of starting a mobile food business are often more complex — methods of incorporation, local regulations and competition can all have an effect on your success. Align yourself with a legal team that knows the food truck business.

Barnes & Thornburg attorneys have food industry experience and the knowledge of the laws governing the mobile cuisine business. As a full-service law firm with a strong corporate practice, we advise on how to establish food truck businesses, protect brands and associated intellectual property, and coordinate with suppliers and vendors.

Our Food Truck Industry attorneys have an excellent grasp of the issues food trucks are facing. Food trucks are regulated by local government agencies and there is little consistency from region to region. Our attorneys practice in cities where food trucks are becoming more popular - Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C., to name a few. As the food-truck trend has grown, we have helped food truck owners and operators navigate complex laws and regulations, and advised cities and towns on how to craft regulations and assimilate food trucks into their communities.

Social media is central to the success of food trucks, and we can advise on how to protect your brand and capitalize on the benefits of building a strong brand and a powerful social media strategy.

Food Truck Owners, Franchisors and Manufacturers

As a full-service law firm with a history of advising businesses, our attorneys are skilled at guiding food trucks, food-industry suppliers and vendors, and restaurants through:

  • Formation of corporate entity
  • Employment issues
  • Licensing and permits
  • Local food truck-specific ordinances
  • Local and state food safety regulations
  • Restrictions by municipalities on the dimensions of food trucks 
  • Local operational restrictions on food trucks, including parking, limitations on hours of operation, required equipment and food preparation
  • Health code requirements
  • Contracts 
  • Leasing kitchen or restaurant space
  • Tax matters
  • Trademark, copyright, domain name, social media and other intellectual property
  • Franchising food truck operations
  • Disputes and litigation
  • Operating on public and private property

Transitioning From Food Truck to Restaurant

Our attorneys are also skilled in assisting you as you make the transition from food truck to restaurant by advising on corporate, regulatory, intellectual property, labor, employment, litigation, dispute resolution, and real estate matters. Often, we work with the attorneys in our Agriculture and Food industry group to advise producers, agribusinesses, processors, manufacturers, distributors/wholesalers, cooperatives, retailers and suppliers on legal issues related to restaurant operation.

Local Government

Municipalities have faced the onslaught of food trucks in different ways. Some have relied on existing ordinances that don-t address modern business issues, others have been more pragmatic. We have advised governments on a wide variety of licensing and permitting issues relating to the food industry, including:

  • Applications
  • Grants
  • Denials
  • Modifications
  • Suspensions
  • Revocations
  • Renewals
  • Transfers
  • Hearings
  • Judicial reviews
  • Fees

Practice Leaders

Julia Gard

Julia Spoor Gard

Intellectual Property Department Chair


P 317-231-7439

F 317-231-7433


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