I am sure that this has been asked before but I am having a hard time finding information on what is necessary/legal in order to bake, decorate, and sell cakes from my home in Richmond, VA. I have found a great deal of conflicting information on the internet and wanted to see in anyone had the real scoop. Who do I contact? How do I get the process started? How involved is it and is it possible without having to force my husband to build me a new kitchen?
In the state of VA we have to be inspected by the Dept. Of Agriculture. The Web site is www.vdacs.virginia.gov The phone is 800-552-9963. If you call they will probably mail you the entire packet.
They offer a step by step guide to start your business. You must prepare a packet for them with recipes, steps, layout of your house, etc. Then they schedule an inspection of your home -$40 paid later -they took a sample of one of my cakes for testing as well). You must be inspected prior to selling. Also, you will need to register with IRS & State to get your identification numbers... And through your county to get licenses (and occupancy permits).
You may also want to check out your local Small Business Administration/Association. They were very helpful - offered information for local classes and 1 on 1 counseling.