How to Start an Ice Cream Truck Business

We all scream for ice cream, especially when an ice cream truck is comes our way. Have you ever considered opening your own ice cream truck business? If no is your answer, now may be the time.

Becoming a novelty ice cream vendor and owning an ice cream truck is a lucrative business that can stay as small or grow as large as you like. You may choose to own one truck or decide to buy a fleet. You can work as a single operator, or hire employees.

Some vendors are in partnerships, whereby one partner actually owns the truck, and the other partner drives it. Some owners of multiple ice cream trucks will hire subcontractors to drive their trucks for them. It’s your business – you decide.

An ice cream truck business is also perfect for teachers who want to supplement their income in the summer when school is out. With low overheads and high-profit margins, this business has unlimited potential.

Pros – Every business type has certain advantages, so does an ice cream truck business such as follows:

  • Be your own boss
  • Low startup cost
  • No experience necessary
  • Great profit margins
  • Recession-proof

Cons – Likewise, there are some disadvantageous also, such as the following:

  • Seasonal, unless you live where the weather is good year-round
  • Summer holidays will be your busiest workdays
  • The high cost of gasoline
  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Cost of insurance may be high


People of all ages eat and enjoy ice cream. Americans spend over 2 billion dollars a year on novelty ice cream treats.

Whether your truck is rolling to the tune of “Turkey in the Straw” or “The Entertainer”, everyone knows you are coming and is glad to see you.
What better feeling than to be greeted by flocks of smiling children, and parents waiting to trade their hard-earned cash for your ice cream?

Most of us picture ice cream vendors cruising the streets of neighborhoods populated with children on hot summer days. But consider the urban ice cream vendor who caters to professionals during their lunch hour, or after a long hot day. Be creative. Find a niche.


Your ice cream truck business can be started with minimal expense. Some people prefer to rent their trucks, equipment, and supplies rather than buy them when they are first starting out. Buying used is also an option.

You will need to research the local and state laws regarding licensing and permits. There may be inspections required by the health department, as well as vehicle and emissions inspections. Some states require you to wear your permit on your clothing.

How to Start an Ice Cream Truck Business

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