Starting Up In Virginia

Business By Pistol Updated 26 Sep 2009 , 11:49pm by elizabeth-jane

Pistol Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 3:27am
post #1 of 39

Does anyone know of a good source to go to for finding out what the legal issues are with baking/selling out of your home? Or has anyone purchased any good books or software for start-up? Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

38 replies
JoAnnB Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 7:32am
post #2 of 39

Welcome to Cake Central. There is a ton of information here in the threads. If you use the search button, you can find many questions asked and answered.

If you search states that license
search all terms
search titles only
and limit to the business forum

you will find the list compiled by Kelleym.

Virginia does license home bakers,
Dept. of Agriculture  (804) 786-3520

Pistol Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 1:55pm
post #3 of 39

Thank you very much, I will try all of those today. I am so excited to have found CC. What a wealth of information.

blueydmom2004 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 8:52pm
post #4 of 39

I'm in Virginia and have been looking into starting an at home cake business too. I just called the VA Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and they sent me a packet of what I needed to do and know to start a business.

Pistol Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 11:21pm
post #5 of 39

Thanks. I actually just did that today as well and they are mailing me a packet. Have you registered your name yet?

blueydmom2004 Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 12:34am
post #6 of 39

No, not yet. Tell you the truth, I haven't looked through the packet yet. icon_redface.gif

jonescarolyn3 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 1:16am
post #7 of 39

I started a Home Baking Business in April and it was really simple. You do have to contact the Agriculture Department and they will send you a package. You will be required to sketch out you kitchen and submit the sketch along with your recipes to them via mail. They will call you with any problems with your submission, if you have a good package they will call to set up a time to come out and inspect your kitchen, stove and any other areas associated with your finish product. I clean my entire house and bleached everything. If you pass the inspection they will sit with you and go thru your package and make recommendations, if you fail it takes a while for re-inspect. Again, it is very simple, and will probably take you about a week to get everything done.

Pistol Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 2:11am
post #8 of 39

jonescarolyn3 - thank you so much for that input. I haven't received the packet yet but to know it can be fairly simple gives me some much needed confidence. Did you go to the County Clerks office to register your business name?

jonescarolyn3 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 12:31pm
post #9 of 39

Yes I did. I paid $40.00 for the license and $10.00 to register my Trade Name. Your license fee is based on the amount of money you estimate making in a year. Since I am full time Naval member, I opted to go on the low end. Again, that was fairly painless.

Pistol Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:23pm
post #10 of 39

Gotcha. I don't expect to make much as I am only going to be doing this on the side for right now. When they came to your home did they go through your whole house? Or only the area(s) to be used? One more question, is it a once a year inspection they will do or once you have the license you are okay indefinitely? Thanks again for the info.

jonescarolyn3 Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:37pm
post #11 of 39

The Kitchen Inspection is good for 2 years, but the Business License has to be renewed each year in Dec. As for them going thru my whole house, they only did the areas I indicated would be associated to my final product. In my case it was the Kitchen, Dining Room, and the down stairs bathroom. Feel to ask me whatever you think of, I am happy to help you out.

Pistol Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 3:39pm
post #12 of 39

You are great, thanks for all info. I think I am okay for now and will wait to get my packet. I will definitely take you up on your offer if I have any other questions.

blueydmom2004 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 1:22am
post #13 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonescarolyn3

Yes I did. I paid $40.00 for the license and $10.00 to register my Trade Name. Your license fee is based on the amount of money you estimate making in a year. Since I am full time Naval member, I opted to go on the low end. Again, that was fairly painless.



How would you figure out how much you would make a year? I find everything you've said so far so helpful too. I finally sat down and went through some of the packet. Do you have a second fridge for your cake stuff or do you just use your regular fridge?

briannastreats Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 1:42am
post #14 of 39

I love this thread! I'm getting ready to call for my packet also... (just have to finish my thesis for my master's degree first... then it's cake business time)

Thank you for all the helpful info!!!

ChristyZ Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 1:51am
post #15 of 39

Thanks for all the great information. I have been planning to call for my packet and just have not had a chance to do so. I am glad to hear it is not so bad.

Where is everyone from?? I am from Williamsburg. Would love to know how everyone makes out.

Christy

blueydmom2004 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 1:55am
post #16 of 39

I'm in South Western Virginia near Roanoke. I've been wondering where everybody else is too.

ChristyZ Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 2:02am
post #17 of 39

Love the Southwestern area! I went to college out that way. I was just curious if the different regions were sticklers on different aspects of the inspection process. I have found that to be true when trying to deal with different counties on various permits or regulations. So I was just curious.

Christy

blueydmom2004 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 2:12am
post #18 of 39

I hope they don't do anything different! I hope that whenever I get it done that it's has hassle free and easy as jonescarolyn3 says it is!
It is real pretty out this way in the fall. That is when mother nature works her wonders with the leaves.

Pistol Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 2:21am
post #19 of 39

jonescarolyn3 - I actually just got my packet today and went through it right away. The kids were running around screaming but of course that didn't stop me. I guess the thing that looks a little intimidating to me is the whole part where they talk about putting your ingredients and net weight lables on your product. Do you need to do that for cake making/decorating? How do you handle that as a home baker?

Did I also read it correctly that, as of July 1, if you are making a baked good that doesn't require temperature control from the time you make it until the time it is being consumed then you don't need to have a State inspection? (That was a run-on)

jonescarolyn3 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 12:28pm
post #20 of 39

Good morning everyone, I just wanted to answer a couple of questions. When you go to County Clerks Office and fill out the paper work for you License you will have the opportunity to check a box with a numerical amount beside it. It goes, I believe in $25,000 increments. I opted for the $0.00 to $25,000.00 box. I did this because I believe that I would not have the time to generate much more than that. I decided from the start that I would set my first years sales goal of $500.00 a month. As I stated earlier I am a full time military member and can't devote much more time than 3 nights a week, becasue of travel obligation.

For the Fridge question. I do have 2 fridges, but the inspector said that as long as I devoted 2 shelves in my family fridge that would be judt fine. But, I find having a second fridge is great. ALso, if you want, as an added bonus get a themonter (mispelled) for your fridge. The inspector like the idea of that. Another brief point I want to make is if you are going to sell your goods to a restaraunt, or any place that will give the customer the bake goods themselves, then you do not have to have labeling. However, if the customer is able to pick up the goods themselves you are required to have a Company Label with all of the ingredients listed. The inspector will go through all of this with you but, you will need to produce the label at the time of your inspection.

jonescarolyn3 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 12:49pm
post #21 of 39

Pistol wrote:
"Did I also read it correctly that, as of July 1, if you are making a baked good that doesn't require temperature control from the time you make it until the time it is being consumed then you don't need to have a State inspection? (That was a run-on)"

Pistol, I am not sure about this, but call the office and ask the Inspection Team they will clear it all up for you. Sorry I have not mastered the quote thing as of yet.

Pistol Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 10:53pm
post #22 of 39

I definitely do not even know how to do the quote thing like other people.

Thanks again for all the great info. I didn't get a chance to call them today but I am going to call them on Monday. Do you just guess at the net weight of the cakes after you have molded them? Or do you have a kitchen scale that you weigh them on? Did you already have tons of pans? I ask because I have a basic few ones and was planning on buying as I go if needed. I was thinking that everytime I got new equipment they might want to come back out or something.

In the packet it says they may want to see you work. Did he want to see you bake something?

I promise I will leave you alone for awhile, at least a couple hours icon_smile.gif

jonescarolyn3 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:08am
post #23 of 39

Pistol it''s no problem. I did guess at the weight, but I also have a kitchen scale that I use. My inspector took close look at the process I use when I bake my cakes, but he did not have me bake anything. After the inspection he typed up the report, printed it and had me sign it and that was it.
I do have tons of pans, but I cater also, so I was using these pans long before I certified my kitchen. You can pick up pans anywhere, but try and get the quality pans (now I know I am insulting your intelligence, and for that I apologize.) Find a good restaraunt supply store, and see what they have it is worth it.

jonescarolyn3 Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:14am
post #24 of 39

Pistol, one more thing, once they inspect you he said that they don't come back until it's time for your new 2 year inspection. Unless someone reports you for a violation, you probably want see them again. Also, he said the biggest complaints were stray hair in the products, but most time it turns out to be pet hair. So, he told me if I had a pet he could not be in the kitchen while I cooked. He said the Ag Department will shut the business down until they have completed investigating the complaint.

Pistol Posted 4 Jul 2008 , 12:20am
post #25 of 39

Do you mean he watched you fo through the motions or just looked at your paperwork process you submitted?

No insult at all. I need to get some good pans and haven't ventured out to do that yet.

Thanks for the heads up on the 2 year inspection and pet thing. We only have a turtle up in my oldest sons room so we are safe there.

Thanks again. Have a nice 4th and I'm sure I will have more questions for you at a later date.

maude Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 1:44pm
post #26 of 39

I too just received my packet from Ag. deptmt. Do you have to submit the ingredients list for every cake, icing and filling that you make. That can get to be quite an extensive amount.

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 2:09pm
post #27 of 39

I just got liscenced in Virginia last month. Here is what you need.

You will need to register your business name if it does not contain your name (ie. Cakes by Jane Doe). you will be filing a fictious name certificate. You will have to do this for advertising purposes and to use business cards if you plan to.

Next you will need to contact the Dept of Agriculture and ask for a packet of information regarding operation of a home baking business. They will send you a packet of info and you will need to fill out the info, type up your recipes (all of them) and submit a drawing or diagram of your kitchen as well as write out your baking process. Once you have sent that in they will contact you to set up a time for your home inspection. Nothing to be worried about. Just be sure your kitchen is clean, no bugs or anything like that of course. All of your baking supplies and ingredients MUST be kept seperate from household ingredients and supplies. You do not need to print labels unless you are creating filings, etc and selling them canned or in a container. For cakes labels are not needed.

Thats it!!!
Hope that helps!

maude Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 2:16pm
post #28 of 39

Thanks for the info couturecakecreations. I will start filling out paperwork today.

Sweet-Dreams Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 8:50pm
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCakeCreations

They will send you a packet of info and you will need to fill out the info, type up your recipes (all of them) and submit a drawing or diagram of your kitchen as well as write out your baking process.




I have a quick question. What happens if you add more recipes? Let's say you just bake 5 or 6 cake flavors now, but you add more in a couple months. Can you just send in the additional recipes as you make them? icon_confused.gif

Thanks!!

thems_my_kids Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 11:43pm
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoutureCakeCreations

All of your baking supplies and ingredients MUST be kept seperate from household ingredients and supplies. You do not need to print labels unless you are creating filings, etc and selling them canned or in a container. For cakes labels are not needed.




So, do you think this will be ok? I have most of my decorating supplies in a hutch in my kitchen, but I have too many pans, cookie cutters and candy molds and they don't all fit in the hutch. They are in plastic storage containers under my bed. Will taht be a problem? And do I have to have a shelf in my pantry or cabinet for just cake ingredients even if I use it for family too?

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%