Business and Vending/ Privilege License for Special Events Vendors


TO:                 Ocean Springs Merchants, Restaurants, Professional Services and Lounges
FROM:          Connie Moran, Mayor, and the OS Board of Aldermen (228) 875-4415
DATE:            October 5, 2016
SUBJECT:     Vendors permits at special events

Festival time is here – here are items regarding special permits/licenses for vendors at special events:
Please note there are often times exceptions to these rules that are difficult to anticipate:

  1. Most on-street vendors are licensed under the organizer of the venue.
  2. *** Vendors NOT in the venue, but selling food must have a city privilege license which states that
    they sell food, and must pay taxes. If they operate in Ocean Springs less than 6 months per year,
    they must also have a transient vendor license from the City (currently $250 for 90 days).
  3. Vendors selling beer/alcohol must have a city privilege license stating they sell beer and/or
    alcohol. They must have a transient license if they operate in Ocean Springs less than 6 mo./year.
    They must sell from a commercial zoned property that is also licensed to sell beer/alcohol, and
    have a temporary off-site ABC permit if they are selling wine or alcohol on someone else’s
    commercial property.
  4. NO beer or food may be sold from a residential zone. The only non-food items that may be sold
    from a residential zone can be a yard sale, unless the business is a registered “home business” and
    the city business privilege license allows these sales from the home.
  5. No one may sell food or set up a grill and sell food unless their city business privilege license
    permits it and they have the applicable permits from the MS Department of Health.
  6. Vendors of non-food items must sell from a commercial zone and have a transient vendor license
    (can be organized under property owner), and pay taxes (can be collected and paid by the
    property owner if they have a commercial business license). An exception to the transient
    vendor license is for crafts made by the person who is selling them. (So commercially zoned
    properties may have crafts/artists selling from their property so long as the artists are selling their
    own artworks.)
  7. Vendors selling items from “rolling carts” (flags, souvenirs, etc.) should have a special
    “peddlers” transient license. The City attorney is preparing a draft ordinance for Board
  8. 8. No vendors may set up stands within the public right-of-way unless they are registered in the
    venue or have a special event permit application with resolution approved by the City. They
    must present a liability insurance certificate naming the City as an additional insured. If they are
    selling alcohol, they must also have all of the necessary permits from ABC, including off-site
    permit if applicable.

*** Anyone not subject to the exceptions set out in 27-17-485 (basically clubs that promote canning,
preserving, bottling, or the “art of cooking”) or 27-17 479 (certain elderly and disabled can operate ice
cream carts without a license) should have a city privilege license to sell food. They only need a
transient vendor license if they are a transient vendor and conducting “transient business” (less than 6
months per year) in the City. Also, there is the exemption to transient vendor licenses for agricultural,
dairy, poultry, or seafood produced in Mississippi, and also an exemption for church and school bazaars,
so St. Alphonsus would not be subject to this. While there is no legal requirement as to a letter from the
property owner, we can ask for one so they can prove they are not trespassing.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1800, Ocean Springs, MS 39566-1800
Delivery Address: 1018 Porter Avenue, Ocean Springs, MS 39564