To make changing ownership of a food establishment as simple as possible, Spokane Regional Health District created this process.
Below is a higher-level description of this process.
For change of ownership of an existing establishment, applications must be submitted far enough in advance to allow adequate time for processing and approval prior to the ownership change. Permit processing time may vary according to the type of operation and/or changes proposed.
Under certain circumstances, the health district can transfer a food establishment’s existing permit to a new owner. Permits can only be transferred if the establishment’s menu, operation, equipment, etc., remain the same (or very close) to what was approved for the previous owner. If a new owner plans to make changes, the health district may not be able to transfer the existing permit. The health district's Food Safety program will determine whether or not a new ownership change qualifies for a permit transfer. To help staff expedite the process, provide them with the following information:
In addition, health district staff must consider whether or not the establishment was issued any variances (waivers). Since variances cannot be transferred between owners, a new owner will have to reapply for each variance. If a variance is complex and/or requires that health district staff re-evaluate the proposal, a variance processing fee will be charged.
If the health district allows a permit transfer, there is an administrative fee and the permit’s expiration date stays the same—it is not extended. Prior to expiration of the transferred permit, the new owner will be required to renew it at the full permit fee. This fee varies based on the permit category.
If health district staff determine that the ownership change does not qualify for a permit transfer, the new owner must apply for a new permit to operate at the full permit fee. The expiration date of the new permit will be determined based on the date of issuance.
If a new owner is found to be operating without a new permit, there is a penalty fee at a rate approved by Spokane Regional Health District's Board of Health.