Aussies Please Help?

Business By noahsmummy Updated 9 Feb 2010 , 3:44pm by noahsmummy

noahsmummy Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 3:20am
post #1 of 11


im considering starting my own cake decorating business from home. I wouldnt want to start for a few months, as i still think i have a bit more to learn before i jump in head first. Anyway, I still like to be organised so want to start gathering info. on what i need and what needs to be done. Im in NSW Australia, and i was wondering if anyone knows the rules/regs i would need to follow? i tired to look for them on the net but it just came up with nothing...

Im not looking for this to be a huge business, im a stay at home mum, just wanting something to do, and a little bit extra income. Ive always loved baking, and am really becoming obsessed with cake decorating.. i blame that on cc... highly highly Im doing 4 cakes this month, and depending on how they go, I will be looking to do this sort of professionally..

So if any other aussies do the same sort of thing, im just wondering if you do it all by the books (if so.. how on earth do i get started and is it possible to do in a home residence?) or do you go.. "under-the-table"? Im only wanting to do one or two cakes a month.. but would still want to advertise...

Sorry for the long rant! any help/advise would be much much appreciated!

thanks heaps! thumbs_up.gif

10 replies
Mrs-A Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 5:53am
post #2 of 11

no idea but i'll give you a bump...

Melnick Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 6:30am
post #3 of 11

You have to check with your local council for their regulations as it differs for everyone. I thought about doing it and looked into it in Qld. One of the requirements was tiled floors or similar. I have wooden floors which is an absolute no no. But I found that I would have easily met all the other requirements. My sister and I are still considering doing it from my Mum's house which would meet the criteria.

The easiest way to find the info you are looking for is just to ring your local council and ask for the rules. Also, if you want to call your business a name, you will need to register the business name and pay a yearly fee. I think it's $125 - $150ish but I may be wrong. ABNs are free. If you do it with just your name - first and last name only (ie no Jane's cakes) - you don't have to register the name ... I think. For tax, you just put it through on a personal income statement unless you turnover some huge numbers.

If you do it as a business, you will be able to access products wholesale, but if it is under the table you will be paying retail.

noahsmummy Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 7:21am
post #4 of 11

thanks, ill do that. =) i dont think my house would pass either.. my kitchen is lino.. and is TINY! im renting as well.. so theres not much i can do about it..this place was the best i could find for my budget. But i think ill still ring up and see.=) i know about business names, im pretty sure its only $100, well it was 2 years ago! thanks again.

Bunsen Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 8:09am
post #5 of 11

Hi there,

I'm in the same boat, looking into going professional - I've done a little digging and found that yes every council is different but also it will depend on who you speak to at the council as advice can be conflicting. I'm in the City of Sydney council area and was told that they don't allow food businesses from home but other cakers have told me they do!

I also took a small business course through the community college which gave me lots of information regarding tax, business structure and the legal implications etc - wasn't expensive and took up 2 Saturdays, well worth doing.

Good luck with everything!

Evoir Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 8:28am
post #6 of 11

Yes - there is a great deal of variation with councils...not just BETWEEN councils, but WITHIN a council!!!

I spent some time talking to a nice clerk at my council (I'm in NSW too), and the first thing before considering your flooring, is to see which the zone your house is in (ie, the category your property falls within, eg 1A, 2A, 2B etc) as if you are unlucky you will be living in a specific area where you cannot run a home business. I was lucky - my house is situated in a permitted zone for home businesses.

With regard to food - MY council are of the opinion that cake decorating (strictly decorating mind you) is not the same as baking, and hence you do not need Health Dept approval. But if you bake and store perishables, then yes, you WILL need to have a health inspector check out your set-up. In my council, these people are in the same building, but are REALLY hard to get a hold of. I think we are small potatoes in the big scheme of things! They like to inspect, then name and shame local chicken takeaway stores etc...

So - first advice is: go see your council!

Re: leased residential housing. Check your lease: most common leases in our state prohibit residential premises being used for commercial purposes. If you do not want to p*ss off your landlord, then you need to suss that out and be upfront.

As soon as you have all these basics sorted (plus have your ABN and bus. name registered) you need to think about liability insurance. If you join up to the CDA in NSW you can get 3rd Party Liability Insurance for I think $45 a year...and thats for decorating cakes to a total of no more than $5000 a year.

Its all a bit hazy...which can be fortunate in some ways. I have a home studio at the back of my house from which I work (overlooking the back yard/pool area). I could not ask for a nicer workplace! I absolutely adore working from home.

Good luck, and please share any info you come up with, as I think the Aussie community can learn a lot from each other icon_smile.gif

noahsmummy Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 8:28am
post #7 of 11

thanks! yea, ive done a bit of study in the business area before, so i think id do ok there.. also especially because im just looking for it to be quite small atm. What council are you with? im with gosford city council (central coast).. my landlord actually works for them as well, and they are lovely.. soooo maybe if i ask extra nice hell be able to swing me a deal...LOL! fingers crossed tho!

jakesmum77 Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 8:36am
post #8 of 11

Hi There,
I'm not sure of your location in NSW, but if you are close to Sydney - Planet Cake has a discussion workshop hosted by Paris Cutler (owner of Planet Cakes) , regarding making your cake business successful. I haven't taken this course myself , i've only seen it on their website
The link is below.

Hope this helps

noahsmummy Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 9:48am
post #9 of 11

wow! thanks for that evoir! you seem to have so much info on everything! little book oh may i ask though, did you say you dont bake your own cakes? if so, how do you manage that? do you get the client to bring you the cakes or do you buy them from a bakery...? I'm hoping my landlords will be ok with it, well.. they should be.. always telling me to treat the house as my own.. even let me rip up my backyard to put garden in everywhere! haha. but then my actaul real estate is a different story...hmmm.

thanks for that link to jakesmum! that looks pretty interesting and quite well priced!

Evoir Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 12:37pm
post #10 of 11

No, I do bake my own cakes as well...both the council and the health inspectors gave the thumbs up. However, what I meant was that my council were unclear about how much of the process is allowed under the home business status...I was told first 'only decorating', but then was given the okay to run my business as it was, including baking AND decorating.

As I said its really unclear, and part of you doesn't want to question it too much in case they decide ANY form of this type of business is not going to be allowed anymore!!

noahsmummy Posted 9 Feb 2010 , 3:44pm
post #11 of 11

looks like i have a fun little battle ahead of me then.... i know theres someone around the corner from me who does their own cakes from home; so hopefully it wont be too hard? but then they may be going under the table, and i really dont want to risk doing that, seeing as then my payments would most probably get cut off and id be up you-no-which-creek without a but then they advertise on the back of their car and stuff.. so id think there would have to be some sort of legitimacy there.. oh well, ill ring council tomorrow and see what i can find out..

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