Guess What I Just Found Out!!!

Business By MissRobin Updated 17 Nov 2009 , 8:11pm by jenncowin

MissRobin Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:43pm
post #1 of 29

I can have a home based cake business!!!!!! The interesting part is, when I took a couple of Wilton classes at the local vocational school, my instructor told me it was not legal to do it in my county!!! WTF!!! All this time I have been dying to pursue my cake business and didn't have the money to get a kitchen built or rent a building!!! Today I called the health department, because there was a lady advertising in the paper and I know she is not licensed, so I decided to check it out. Much to my complete surprise I found out I CAN sell cakes out of my home!!! WooHoo!!!!!!!!! Now I am nervous, I don't even know where to begin!!!!!!!! Help Please give me some much needed advice!!!!!!

28 replies
ccr03 Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 8:52pm
post #2 of 29

First step is to get all the info to be licensed from the Health Dept. I know in my county you have to have a commercial kitchen.

Second, look into pricing! It's dumb - frankly - to start a business and not have some sort of pricing structure in mind. Chances are you'll undercharge at first, but we all do that. (At least I did.)

MissRobin Posted 16 Nov 2009 , 10:25pm
post #3 of 29

I have checked with the health department. I don't have to have a commercial kitchen, they do not inspect me or anything!!!! All I need is a business license.

Ruth0209 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 12:57am
post #4 of 29

I did exactly the same thing in my state. What a relief it was to find out I didn't have to do the commercial kitchen or rent a kitchen!!

You still need to register your business, sign up to withhold sales tax if you have that in your state, get a federal tax ID, probably start paying quarterly federal taxes, and get liability insurance. Very exciting!! Congratulations!!!!

Michelle104 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:00am
post #5 of 29

And I would suggest getting an accountant to help you keep track of all the incoming and outgoing, taxes, deadlines, etc...unless of course you're good with numbers too! icon_lol.gif Me? Not so much! icon_lol.gif

Congratulations!!!!

onlymadaresane Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:03am
post #6 of 29

I'm so jealous! That's way awesome! I was told at one point - nope. Had to be in a commercial kitchen.

That being said. My neighbor has been baking cakes and such out of her home for YEARS.

MissRobin Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:39am
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by onlymadaresane

I'm so jealous! That's way awesome! I was told at one point - nope. Had to be in a commercial kitchen.

That being said. My neighbor has been baking cakes and such out of her home for YEARS.




Thanks, I was pretty excited about it. I was told by my wilton instructor 2-3 years ago, that it wasn't allowed in my county, she lived here at the time. I kept seeing these other women advertising and doing bridal fairs and wondered how they were doing it, because they are not licensed. So I got a wild hair today and just decided to call the health dept. and verify what I was told, and was pleasantly surprised. I don't know if it has changed since then or if I was being mislead for some reason, but I am happy. I still have my day job, but being able to advertise and such opens up more doors and hopefully someday I can quit my day job! Ha!

saberger Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:50am
post #8 of 29

That's awesome!!! Good for you! But how come you don't need to be inspected? Sorry for being ignorant, but I thought all food related businesses had to be inspected.

Still....that is really exciting for you!!!!

Win Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:51am
post #9 of 29

Well.. guess what else, MissRobin...??? Your work is always darling, and you will go far now that you know you have "no strings to tie me(you) down." Congratulations on finding out you can reach for the stars and God Bless in your endeavor!

xiswtsawluiix Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 1:51am
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Quote:

Thanks, I was pretty excited about it. I was told by my wilton instructor 2-3 years ago, that it wasn't allowed in my county, she lived here at the time. I kept seeing these other women advertising and doing bridal fairs and wondered how they were doing it, because they are not licensed. So I got a wild hair today and just decided to call the health dept. and verify what I was told, and was pleasantly surprised. I don't know if it has changed since then or if I was being mislead for some reason, but I am happy. I still have my day job, but being able to advertise and such opens up more doors and hopefully someday I can quit my day job! Ha!




Super super excited for you! thumbs_up.gif

MissRobin Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:03am
post #11 of 29

Thank You Win and xiswtsawluiix, so much for your kind words!!!! I have wanted this for a long time. As for why I don't have to be inspected, I don't know, the health department just said no, as long as I am just selling cakes!!! I was a little shocked I have had a daycare for 23 years in my home. The majority of those years I was licensed, but since I am older (Urgh!), I dropped my license and just watch as many as allowed without the license!! Anyway, As a licensed daycare I was inspected by the health department, because I served food to the children, soooo, I was quite surprised at their answer!!!! It was funny, I kept asking over and over again, if it was ok, and they probably thouht I was nuts, I just couldn't believe it.

indydebi Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:08am
post #12 of 29

That is awesome news for you! It's fun to see your excitement! Have fun with it!!!

conb Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:08am
post #13 of 29

Congratulations and much success to you! icon_smile.gif

melodyscakes Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:09am
post #14 of 29

my state changed the law and now anyone can sell anything from any kitchen.
I owed a bakery, and decided to heck with paying overhead, and moved my business home where I can be with my children.

I do have a separate kitchen, it is small, but it works for cakes!
with my kids, I'd rather not bake a cake for a customer from my reg. kitchen....mostly the teenagers would eat and the ingredients while I turned my back.

good luck!

melody

350BakerStreet Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:19am
post #15 of 29

That is totally exciting!!! But, not to throw a wrench in your plans, but you might want to check with the Dept of Agriculture...in my state they allow home-based "cakeries", but they still need inspections from the DofA, like commercial bakeries need to go through the Health Dept. Just to be absolutely sure you're not going to get yourself in trouble.

Best of Luck to you!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

cylstrial Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:56am
post #16 of 29

That's awesome! Congrats!!

LKing12 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:05am
post #17 of 29

Run, don't walk! Get the paperwork started. These things seem to change over night. Once you get your documentation-keep it current.

dynee Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:11pm
post #18 of 29

If all this is really true, am I upset!!! I would love to be liscensed, but I live in a subdivision with a homeowner's association, where the covenents strictly forbid having a business. icon_cry.gif If it wasn't for that, icon_sad.gif I'd be down to the Health Department TODAY to get the paperwork started.

MissRobin Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 2:41pm
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynee

If all this is really true, am I upset!!! I would love to be liscensed, but I live in a subdivision with a homeowner's association, where the covenents strictly forbid having a business. icon_cry.gif If it wasn't for that, icon_sad.gif I'd be down to the Health Department TODAY to get the paperwork started.




I think each county is different. I don't know where you are located, I feel for you with the subdivision covenants, when I first moved into my subdivision, they tried to prevent me from having my daycare, but I fought them and I won.

dynee Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:13pm
post #20 of 29

Miss Robin, I am so happy for you that you can proceed on with your caking business! I have a double whammy as I am in Boone county which has strict zoning and I am not in a commercial zone. Oh Well!

Suzycakes Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:23pm
post #21 of 29

When I checked with my county health dept 4 years ago to inquire what it would require to become 'legal' to sell cakes from my home they said this: Missouri changed its law about 2 years before my inquiry (so 5 to 6 years ago) that you can have a home based business to sell cakes, cookies, etc from your home without being licensed or inspected - AS LONG AS you don't sell anything for resale - ie - you can't sell cookies to a business that will resell them/you can't sell a cake to a restaurant that will resell it or pieces of it/etc.

Also this division of the county health departments is connected with the department of agriculture in Missouri. My health dept representative was new to his position when I called - so he had to call to find out the answer - and when he called me back he went through the whole discussion with me.

Now some counties may have restrictions due to zoning rules and regulations - but I was under the impression that it was a state wide approval from the health dept. Now if you live in the city limits of a town - you will need to get a business license and check their zoning rules also.

But as others have said - you need liability ins, tax nos., bookkeeping and you need to check the covenants and restrictions if you live in a subdivision of some type (sorry my full time job is with an attorney that does real estate work! this can get very touchy and expensive). Luckily I live - just in the country - so this was not an issue with me.

Good luck in your new endeavor!

Suze

KHalstead Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:28pm
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by saberger

That's awesome!!! Good for you! But how come you don't need to be inspected? Sorry for being ignorant, but I thought all food related businesses had to be inspected.

Still....that is really exciting for you!!!!




Really depends on the laws where you live. I'm in Ohio and I run a home-based caking bus. and I don't have to be inspected whatsoever...I can GET inspected if I want to, just to be able to say I've been inspected...and I was going to do that, so I called the Health dept. and they basically told me that it was rediculous that I was going to pay $20.00 to have them come out to my house when it wasn't necessary. They basically said it was going to cost them more in gas to come inspect me than I would be paying for the inspection and that it really made no difference to the state whether I was inspected or not, because it's not mandated that you be inspected anyhow. His words exactlly were "why bother? it's only going to cost YOU money and US time that we don't have" so I haven't bothered! The only thing I can't do not being licensed (i can get licensed for $200.00/yr.) is have people consume the product on my premises and sell perishable goods like cheesecakes. No problem for me!! I don't like people in my house anyhow and I don't feel like making cheesecakes lol

mustang1964 Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 3:54pm
post #23 of 29

I have sold cakes out of my home for years. Never thought it could be illegal because several other people do the same thing here in town. So after coming to this sight a few years ago and realizing I may need to check a few things out, I found out it is legal for me to have a home kitchen. The thing is I have checked with the county health department and the state health department once a year for several years. Neither really says much except I can do what I want as long as I don't do anything with raw eggs in it. I don't have a business license the city acts like there is no reason for one icon_confused.gif As far as insurance would the homeowners insurance cover anything? I feel like I may be doing something wrong here but, I am not sure how to remedy it. I have also advertised in the local paper and handed out business cards. Either I have been extremely lucky or in my part of the state this must be o.k. Any advice would be appreciated.

zubia Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:14pm
post #24 of 29

Missouri and Kansas are very confusing . If you call health department they tell you to go a head and do it ,no need for inspection or license. Kansas was less confusing 2 years ago but then some one here on CC said that Overland Park and Olathe now requires license. I called health department again and they said no need for license if I am selling person to person ,I only need license if I want to do business with retail shops.

dynee ,you can ask your subdivision about it ,its not like you are opening a retail shop .There only concern about home business is traffic. I called my home ower assosiation and told them the nature of my business and they were fine with it.
As for taxes I file it as a hobby .

Suzycakes Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:37pm
post #25 of 29

I not sure your homeowners insurance would cover you if a customer fell over a pair of shoes near your back door step, fell and broke an arm or hip and wanted to sue you for damages.

Okay this gets kinda long - but here is our homeowners insurance story:
Several years ago my DH had a small repair business he used his shed for - he repaired guns and blued them - no guns were shot or fired on our property and the shells/bullets were always kept away from the gun itself. Our homeowners insurance company sent out a basic questionaire form concerning the size of our lot, the square footage of the house, septic tank, city or well water, etc and there was a question about "Is there any business transactions conducted on the property?" Of course I answered yes, which followed with the question of what kind of business and I listed DH's business/hobby (trust me - we didn't make any money from this adventure at all - it truly was just a hobby but he was licensed with the US Gov - ATF and filed all necessary paperwork and paid the license fees they required). A few weeks later my insurance agent walks in the door where I work and wanted to know what I put on the form - because they had just been notified that they were dropping us as an insured - no ifs, ands or buts! We finally sent them copies of our bookwork to show them that this was pretty much a hobby - not a business - no money was actually being made - and they finally agreed to keep us as insureds - as long as we carried an additional liability policy. But DH decided to give up the business because insuring the house is much more important that having a business and/or hobby.

Suze

jenncowin Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 4:41pm
post #26 of 29

Does anyone know if there is a website that you could go to and find this information out? I'd love to be able to "be legal" and advertise what I've been doing for several years now especially if it just means I need to get a business license!

Congratulations MissRobin!! I'm happy for you!

KHalstead Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 6:01pm
post #27 of 29

the articles section has just about every state listed and what you need to do to start a home-based business!

Suzycakes Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 7:05pm
post #28 of 29

Jenn -- just call your local Health Dept and they should be able to answer your questions. If you go to the Missouri Dept of Ag website you might be able to find something out there - but I really think your county health dept is all you need - unless you live in the city limits then you will also need to check with city hall too.

BTW - been a huge fan of your cakes since finding CC almost 4 years ago!! Get that approval and keep going!

Suze

jenncowin Posted 17 Nov 2009 , 8:11pm
post #29 of 29

Thanks suycakes! I will call the Health Dept. and see what they say!

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