Change of Ownership

Permits for food establishments are not transferrable to different owners. A change of ownership for a food establishment requires the new owner to obtain a new permit from EPH. To avoid citations or closure for operating without a current permit, the new owner of a food establishment should begin the change of ownership process prior to taking over the business.

Businesses that are changing ownership must follow these Plan Review steps:

  1. Submit to the EPH office:
  2. Plan Review Conference Appointment - EPH will call within five (5) business days to schedule the plan review appointment. This appointment is held over the phone. Plans will be reviewed to determine compliance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations. During the call, the plan reviewer will discuss the documents required to submit to EPH before the pre-opening inspection can be scheduled. This step can be expedited*
  3. Document Submittal - All documents must be submitted together and include the establishment number on all correspondence.

    Examples of documents that may be required include:
    • Water Approval – A Customer Service Inspection Certificate and Water District Approval Letter completed and signed by the MUD representative OR approved well and septic information.
    • A Certificate of Compliance from Harris County Fire Marshall for Fire Code Review, Harris County Engineering Division (713) 274-3900 or approved Certificate of Occupancy from local jurisdiction.
    • A Certified Food Manager certificate for an employee of the establishment.
    • A State of Texas Sales Tax Permit Taxpayer ID. Contact the Texas Comptroller at or 1-800-252-5555
  4. Pre-Opening Inspection - A request must be made to EPH for a pre-opening inspection after construction or remodeling is completed and all required documents are submitted. Requests must be made ten (10) days prior to the desired preopening inspection date. This step can be expedited*. The business can open after the pre-opening inspection, permit approval, and purchase of the HCPH permit. A re-inspection fee will be charged if the establishment does not pass the pre-opening inspection.

*EXPEDITE FEE: the indicated steps can be expedited with payment of the expedite fee. Contact Plan Review for eligibility.