Mobile Retail Establishments

 

The City of Austin requires a permit for mobile retail establishments which sell non-food items and services to customers from a movable vehicle or trailer that routinely changes locations. This is not limited to selling items from the vehicle or trailer but also includes the selling of services (including personal services). The Development Services Department reviews and approves these permit applications. For mobile food vendors, please visit the mobile food vendors page
 

iconHow to Apply

 

step 1  Confirm that the Types of Sales and Services that You Offer are Allowed
 

The services of your mobile retail establishment will need to match one of the following: 

 

General Retail Sales (Convenience)

The sale or rental of commonly used goods and merchandise for personal or household use.

 

Includes:

  • arts and antiques
  • art supplies and framing
  • apparel
  • bicycles
  • cosmetics
  • household cleaning products
  • household electronic equipment
  • office supplies
  • paint records
  • specialty items
  • small home appliances
  • sporting equipment

 

Excludes:

  • appliances
  • automotive parts, and other similar items.
  • home furnishings

 

Personal Services

Provision of periodically needed services of a personal nature.
 

Includes:

  • barbershops
  • beauty shops
  • dry cleaning pick-up station services
  • seamstress services
  • shoe repair shops
  • tailor services

 

Pet Services
 

The retail sale of small animals customarily used as household pets or the provision of veterinary, as well as pet-based services.

 

Includes: 

  • boarding services
  • grooming services
  • selling small pets
  • veterinary care

 

Excludes:

  • uses that relate to livestock
  • uses that relate to large animals.

 

step 2  Review Mobile Retail Operational Requirements

Review the following Mobile retail Operational requirements:
 

  • Mobile Retail may be operated on private property with commercial or industrial zoning, except for properties with Office Zoning (NO, LO, & GO). Drive-in service is not permitted.
     
    • Additional distance requirements from mixed-use, residential, and other permanent retail locations apply.
       
  • All sales items, equipment and supplies, and all operational activities must be contained inside the mobile retail vehicle or trailer.
     
  • Mobile Retail may not occur on public right-of-way (public roads, sidewalks, etc.).
     
    • The Austin Transportation Department has a separate permit process for vending in the public right of way. Visit the Right of Way Permits Vendor page to learn more. 
       
  • Mobile Retail may be operated from 6:00am-11:00pm
     
  • Mobile Retail may not occupy or impede required parking for another use on the property.
     
  • Mobile Retail may not have permanent water or wastewater connection. Electrical service may be provided with temporary service or an onboard power source.
     
  • Mobile Retail that is at one location for more than two hours requires a written agreement from a business within 150 feet of the location to allow employees to use flushable restrooms or other facilities approved by the health authority during hours of operation.
     
  • A Mobile Retail establishment may not remain at the same location for more than 180 consecutive days.

 

step 3  Prepare Application Submission Requirements

Review the following Mobile retail submission requirements:
 

  • The name and address of the mobile retail establishment owner.
     
  • Proof of motor vehicle or trailer registration.
     
  • A description of the items that the mobile retail establishment sells.
     
  • Proof of sales tax and use permit.
     
  • Proof of Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation license(s), if applicable, for Personal Services use.
     
  • An itinerary of the locations where sales occur.
     
  • If at one location more than two hours, a written agreement from a business within 150 feet of the location to allow employees of the mobile retail establishment to use flushable restrooms or other facilities approved by the health authority during hours of operation.

 

step 4  Apply for a Mobile Retail Permit

Complete a Mobile Retail Permit Application (PDF). Submit online at the AB + C Portal or email the application.

 

step 5  After Approval

After your permit application is approved, a Mobile Retail Vendor Log and the Restroom Agreement documents must be kept inside the mobile retail establishment.

Once a mobile retail establishment is in operation, code violations are handled by the Austin Code Department. An approved application may be revoked if an operator commits repeated violations and endangers public health, safety, and welfare.

iconAdditional Information

Mobile Retail Establishments are governed by section 25-2-818 of the City of Austin Land Development Code. Regulations about Mobile Retail Establishments can be viewed online at library.municode.com.

 iconContacts and Appointments

 Contacts

For questions about Mobile Retail Establishment permits, please call Bryan Walker at 512-974-2686 or email him at bryan.walker@austintexas.gov. 

 

Appointments

If you would like to set up a 20-minute appointment to ask us general questions about Mobile Retail Establishments, click the button below to schedule an appointment. 

Location: 6310 Wilhelmina Delco Drive 

Expected Appointment Duration: 20 minutes 

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