I just started charging for the cakes I make (mostly b-day) for co-workers, neighbors etc. It is just 'on the side' and I do it at home. Do I need to have a business name and trademark/logo at this point? I thought maybe I should in case the business grows. I don't want my name to be taken. Can I just call myself something, as long as no one has it and not register etc.? I'm just not sure how to proceed...
If I do go ahead and create this 'business', then do I set myself up for tax issues I didnt' forsee and licensing and the lot? I'm only charging a minimal amount - covers supplies and a little of my time. I'm by no means compensated for all or even most of my time. It's my hobby and I just enjoy doing it so much and want to keep getting better!
Thanks for the advice!
I'm by no means an expert at this, but I'm pretty sure that as soon as you receive any compensation, you must be legal - health inspection, legal kitchen, find out how much you may earn a year before you have to report it on your taxes.
If you want it to be a hobby then let it be a hobby and don't charge. And if it's a hobby you don't need a business name or logo. But if you want a business name and logo, then it's business regardless of how much you make and you need to do all the things that come with starting a "legal" business that has a name & logo.
Here's a post I put in another thread just today that I think needs copied here:
Orig Thread: http://forum.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=654393&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=0
.... and i make no profit that means i don't have to register a business right? And since i am making no profit i am not actually selling the cakes so i don't need to register my kitchen?
The govt could care less if you're a lousy business person who doesn't know how to set up a profitable pricing structure so that you make a profit. You're not considered a business "*IF* you make a profit". You're a business if you are functioning and acting and conducting yourself like a business.
It's common knowledge that a new business can expect to operate in the red for the first couple of years. Does that make them not a "real" business, just because they are not making a profit? Nope!
walks like a business, quacks like a business .... it's a business.
This might help you as well.