South End Answers: Do You Need a Permit to Sell on the Street?

In this week’s column of “You Ask, Patch Answers,” a new feature where we find the answers to your questions, a South End reader asked about what’s required to sell t-shirts or food on the sidewalk. 

“Can people on just randomly sell stuff on the sidewalk?” she asked. 

According to the folks at City Hall, you need a hawker’s and peddlers license to be able to sell anything on the street, whether it’s t-shirts or food. On the city’s website, there’s some information about the different types of mobile vendors allowed, such as the three different types of food trucks and the permits necessary for operating one. Note: There are several, including verification from the city’s Inspectional Services Depatment and the Boston Fire Department, and a statewide Hawkers & Peddlers license that must then be approved by the Department of Public Works. You can read more on that here

Hopefully that answers your question!

Got a question about the neighborhood you want answered? Submit it in the comments below or email Each week Patch will pick a question to research and answer the following week. Add your question today!

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