Permits for Food Establishments

Whenever a food establishment is constructed or remodeled or whenever an existing structure is converted to use as a food establishment, plans and specifications for such construction, remodeling or conversion must be submitted prior to the start of such construction, remodeling or conversion. The owner will have the final responsibility for the accuracy and completeness of the plans and specifications, as well as for subsequent construction and installation.

Non-Smoking Regulations in Effect in Fairfax County: Current legislation prohibits smoking in restaurants that are open to the public. However, smoking may be permitted in food establishments under certain conditions. If you have any questions about the non-smoking requirements, please contact the Health Department at 703-246-2510 TTY: 711.

New Restaurant (proposed to be built) Checklist:

  • Submit completed Plan Review application PDF icon to Health Department
  • Submit four sets of plans/architectural drawings and plan review fee to Health Department
  • Provide copy of menu
  • Provide manufacturer's spec sheet/cut sheet for ALL equipment specified on the Equipment List including the water heater


  • Submit business license application for business license
  • Submit completed Permit to Operate application PDF icon and application fee PDF icon to the Health Department
  • Contact Health Department in person or call 703-246-2510 to schedule pre-opening inspection
    At pre-opening inspection, owners must provide the following:
    • Food Manager Certification: ORS Interactive, Inc.; 703-533-7600
    • Final menu with Consumer Advisory, if applicable
    • Plumbing Inspection Final Approval
    • Mechanical Inspection Final Approval
    • Electrical Inspection Final Approval
  • Open for Business once all approvals are granted, Health Department Permit is issued and Non-Residential Use Permit (Occupancy Permit) is issued.

    Note: Food Establishments are required to have a Certified Food Manager (CFM) on site during times of food preparation and operation of the establishment and are expected to oversee all aspects of safe food handling. Contact ORS Interactive, Inc at 703-533-7600 for information on tests and the certification process.

Change of Ownership of an Existing Establishment


Submit the following to the Health Department:

  • Permit to Operate application PDF icon and permit fee PDF icon
  • Business license
  • Copy of new menu with Consumer Advisory, if applicable
  • Provide a list of all equipment to be replaced or added
  • Plans are required for equipment layout changes, remodeling, equipment installation or any other type of construction.

The Health Department will schedule an inspection following a review of the completed application.

Mobile Food Service Permitting (Food Trucks):

Temporary Events

County Agencies

Business License 703-222-8234
Commercial Inspection 703-324-1910
Electrical 703-324-1910
Fire Marshall 703-246-4800
Plan Review 703-246-2510
Zoning (Occupancy Permit) 703-222-1082
Final Inspection for Plumbing,
Electrical, Mechanical & Building 703-222-0455

Non-County Agencies

City of Fairfax:
10455 Armstrong Street
Fairfax, VA 22030
Hours: 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. weekdays
Residential and Non-residential Use Permits 703-385-7820
Business Licenses-Commissioner of the Revenue 703-385-7880

City of Falls Church:
300 Park Avenue
Falls Church, VA 22046
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.weekdays

Business License
Commissioner of the Revenue 703-248-5019

Contact Fairfax County: Phone, Email or Twitter | Main Address: 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035
Technical Questions: Web Administrator

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