Opening a restaurant or other food service operation requires a large investment of time and money. Before planning to invest in a restaurant or other food service operation, please contact the Union County Health Department at (937) 642-2053. Our environmental health staff will walk you through the requirements and process for getting your food service plans approved and/or getting your permit to open. Even if you are considering purchasing an existing food service operation, please call our office.

Under Ohio Food Code, restaurants and/or food service operations are required to be brought up to current code upon change in ownership. Bringing an existing food service establishment up to code could come with additional unplanned costs for a new owner.

You likely will need permits from other entities (bldg, fire, township, department of commerce (liquor control), etc.). Note the information listed below are general processes. The needs of each specific food service operation are unique.

Opening New Restaurant

1. Facility Plan Review (includes site plan and HVAC plan) (fee)

a. Must also obtain approval from these agencies

i. Zoning (this may be township and/or the city/village)
ii. Fire Department
iii. Union County Building Dept
iv. Union County Plumbing Inspector
v. Ohio EPA sewage and/or water (if not on public water or sewage system)
vi. Division of liquor control (if applicable)

2. Pre-Licensing Inspection (no fee)
3. License Application submitted and fee paid
4. After licensing 30 day inspection (no fee)
5. Renew license by March 1 annually.

Application for RFE/FSO Facility Review
Guide for Food Facility Plan Review

Buying An Existing or Closed Restaurant

Food licenses do not transfer upon change in ownership. A new owner of a previous food service operation is required to get a new food license and meet all current code requirements. If equipment changes are planned or a remodel is planned, a facility plan review may be required.

1. Pre-licensing inspection (no fee)
2. Bring facility up to current code
3. Plan review may be required based upon findings of pre-licensing inspection
4. License Application submitted and fee paid
5. After licensing 30 day inspection (no fee)
6. Renew license by March 1 annually.

New Mobile Food Unit

Food licenses do not transfer upon change in ownership. A new owner of a previous food service operation is required to get a new food license and meet all current code requirements. If equipment changes are planned or a remodel is planned, a facility plan review may be required.

1. Plan Review (no fee)

a. Menu
b.  List of equipment make and model number
c.  Surface finishes for floors, walls and ceilings
d.  Floor plan
e.  Lighting plan

2. Pre-licensing inspection (no fee)
3. License Application submitted and fee paid
4. Mobile license expires March 1 annually.

Mobile Unit Food License Requirements
1. Submit an Application for Facility Review & Fee (this is your plan review)

a. Before a license can be issued by the Union County Health Department, you must also receive approval from the following agencies:

i. Zoning (this may be township and/or the city/village)
ii. Fire Department
iii. Union County Building Dept
iv. Union County Plumbing Inspector
v. Ohio EPA sewage and/or water (if not on public water or sewage system)
vi. Division of liquor control (if applicable)

2. Pre-License Inspection (no fee)
3. Submit a License Application and License Fee
4. Pre-Opening Inspection (no fee)
5. License Renewed Annually by March 1

Food Truck – A license must be issued by the Health Department. The operator must reside in Union County for the Union County Health Department.

1. Submit an Application for License including layout and menu
2. Pre-Opening Inspection
3. License cannot be issued until inspection complete