Some vendors may be exempt from the North Carolina regulation requiring an operational permit to prepare and sell food or drink for pay. Please review this entire page to have a full understanding of GS 130A-250(7) Exemption.
Wake County Health Inspectors often stop and check events where food or drink is being sold. It is best if you talk to us before selling any food or drink at an event (919-856-7400)
If you are: 
  1. Incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in accordance with Chapter 55A of the North Carolina General Statutes OR
  2. Exempt from federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Service code as defined in General Statute 105-228.90 (have 501(c)(3) status) OR
  3. A political committee as defined in North Carolina General Statute 163-278.6(14)
then you may prepare and sell food to the public one time a month for no more than two days in a row without a permit from Wake County Environmental Services.
You must provide proof of the organization’s tax-exempt status such as a copy of the Letter of Determination of Non Profit Status from the North Carolina Department of Revenue or the Internal Revenue Service, or a letter from the candidate or political action committee authorizing you to have the event. You must keep a copy of this documentation on site to show a Wake County Health Inspector should they visit your event.
Drink vendors who only sell drinks such as lemonade, coffee, soda and tea (in single-service cups) do not need an operational permit from this Department. Please contact us if you want to sell drinks made from fruit (like smoothies).
Vendors who sell only dipped ice cream, popcorn, candied apples, cotton candy, funnel cakes, doughnuts, peanuts and commercially prepackaged chips and candy are not required to obtain an operational permit from this Department; however, you should contact the Department of Agriculture at 919-733-7366 to find out if you need a permit from them.