The New Orleans Food Truck Symposium

My column on Silicon Bayou New generally provides a nugget of legal knowledge for your startup. This week I’ll deviate from that tradition and focus on one of my startup clients, the New Orleans Food Truck Coalition, Inc.

The Coalition is a Louisiana non-profit corporation formed by owners and operators of Food Trucks in the New Orleans area. The group is in the process of filing with the IRS as a 501(c)(6) trade association to be considered a non-profit on the federal tax level.

So why do they need a Coalition? Put simply, the laws of the City of New Orleans aren’t conductive to this new type of business. The laws put restrictions on how close the food trucks can be to other businesses, how many can be in the city, and where they can serve food. Ask any food truck owner, and they’ll explain how difficult and convoluted the licensing process is.

With that in mind, the main goal of the Coalition is to undo the Gordian Knot of bureaucratic red tape and help draft new laws that are friendlier to food trucks, and the entrepreneurs and small business owners who operate them. Our goal here is not to steal business from restaurants, it’s to create a whole new class of eatery to the fantastic New Orleans foodie scene.

Next Tuesday, July 24, the Coalition is  sponsoring  a Symposium and Rally: Let the Food Trucks Roll. The event is free, and food trucks will be on hand to serve dinner after the symposium. The first 100 attendees will even receive a voucher good towards purchases (I know some of you boot strapping techies are hungry!).

So come on out to the Symposium and support some of the other, non-techy entrepreneurs in this city we love to call home.