CoMo Cooks First Stop

A quick and simple guide to what you need to start a food-based business and begin using our shared kitchen.

City of Columbia Business License

All clients must have a City of Columbia Business License and, if applicable, an Alcoholic Beverage License and Caterers Permit. Food and beverage businesses must pay a $30 application fee, a $17 criminal records check fee, a license fee starting at $15 and increasing based on annual gross receipts, and an annual inspection fee starting at $220 and increasing based on annual gross receipts. These fees are required for all businesses, regardless of whether they are in our kitchen. (NOTE: All business licenses expire in June so we recommend timing your application so you are not immediately renewing it.)

For details and an online application, visit:

Boone County Merchant's License

All businesses operating within Boone County must have a Merchant's License. The cost is $25. For details and an application, visit:

Health Department Operating Permit

All food service establishments require an operating permit from Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and mobile food units have additional requirements. For businesses with mobile units, a meeting will take place at the commissary kitchen with the mobile unit. Operator must show where items will be stored in the commissary. Water must be turned on to demonstrate hot water availability, and a demonstration of how water will be collected and disposed of is required at time of inspection. 

All fees must be paid in full before an operating permit will be issued. The annual inspection fee for the operating permit is based on annual gross receipts, starting at $205 and increasing from there. For an application and more details, visit:

Health Department Plan Review

For mobile food units, you must undergo a plan review of your mobile unit and your food storage and preparation processes with the Health Department. The fee for the plan review is based on the risk of your establishment. Risk is determined by the Health Department based on the type of food you serve and who you serve. Low risk is $140,  medium risk is $215, and high risk is $430. For more details and to schedule a plan review, visit:

ServSafe Certification

All clients and employees working in CoMo Cooks must complete food a safety class and receive a ServeSafe Certification within 90 days of entering the kitchen. This is a requirement for all food businesses. Columbia Area Career Center offers classes and exams. For details and a schedule of classes visit:

Fire Inspection

CoMo Cooks has been inspected and approved by the Columbia Fire Department. However, mobile food units and some other types of businesses may require an additional inspection. Contact the City of Columbia Fire Department at (573) 874-7556 for details. 


All clients must have the following:

-Liability Insurance and COI covering the kitchen ($1 million minimum)
-General Liability Insurance ($1,000,000 per occurrence, $2,000,000 aggregate limit)
-Worker’s Compensation Insurance, if additional employees ($500,000 each accident, $500,000 each disease/each employee, $500,000 disease policy limit)

The following entities must be included as additional insured:

Business Loop CID
14 E. Business Loop 70
Columbia, MO 65203

Yousef Darkhalil
1205 Longwell Dr.
Columbia, MO 65203

Contact your local insurance agent for a quote.


A $200 kitchen deposit is required upon entry. This is refundable upon exit provided the client has incurred no damages or lost items.

Cannabis Policy

Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services reviews and approves CBD/Delta-8 based food production based on the following criteria:

· The product must come from an approved source and be approved for use in food products
· There must be demonstrated evidence that the THC levels in the final product are less than 3%
· There cannot be any medical claims made in advertising or labeling
· It must be clear what they are using the product for and how they are processing it

CoMo Cooks clients may produce CBD/Delta-8 based products provided they follow these guidelines and have the approval of Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services.

The CoMo Cooks Shared Kitchen is not licensed to allow for product testing or production of THC-based items.
The Loop
14 Business Loop 70 East
Columbia, MO 65203
573-443-LOOP (5667)

Questions? Contact us at [email protected]

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