Help! Do I Need A License For A Cake Here And There?

Business By Sweet_Deelite Updated 16 Sep 2010 , 2:18am by 4realLaLa

Sweet_Deelite Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:14pm
post #1 of 10

I am just learning to decorate fancier cakes. I love to bake. Thanks to facebook a couple of my friends have asked me to make cakes for their special occassions. I made two cakes for a babyshower and one for a bridal shower.

I charged for the needed grocery items and a small fee for my time. I do not want to start a business but a cake once every month or two would be nice so I can put my artistic talents to good use!

My Aunt is comparing me to a woman from my hometown who made cakes on a daily basis for everyone in town that needed one for weddings, baptisms, holidays etc. She got in trouble for not having a state licensed kitchen and does not make cakes anymore.

Now my Aunt is on my case on facebook daily questioning me about what I need to do to continue making cakes.

Do I need a state license for this type of Hobby????

9 replies
Minstrelmiss Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:35pm
post #2 of 10

1. Where do you live? Some states, no, most states yes.

2. Likely yes if you are selling.

bummer for many of us here. HTH

jason_kraft Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 10

If you accept compensation of any kind for your products (even just the cost of ingredients), you need to be a licensed business in order to be legal. Depending on your state you may be able to get a license for a commercial home kitchen. Liability insurance is also strongly recommended as well as an LLC, since all of your personal assets are at risk if you face a lawsuit.

If you make your cakes for free you should be fine.

TexasSugar Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:52pm
post #4 of 10

Contact your local Health Department and ask. In some places the Dept. Of Ag would have the answers. They can tell you the informaton better than we can. Each state has different laws and rules and sometimes they do vary county to county.

Sweet_Deelite Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 3:53pm
post #5 of 10

I live in Wisconsin. icon_sad.gif I deleted the pics on my facebook page of my cakes. I don't make enough to pay for a license off of my cakes and don't want to so I figure no more.....oh well. It was fun while it lasted. I just can't afford to not charge for my time especially when It takes me a whole day to create a cake being home with my one year old daughter!

jason_kraft Posted 15 Sep 2010 , 7:26pm
post #6 of 10

It actually doesn't take a lot of money to get legal. Here in CA, the biggest one-time expense (other than buying ingredients) was ~$600 on the health dept inspection of our rented commercial kitchen. Annual expenses are $50 for the city business license, ~$400 for business liability insurance, and $700 for LLC tax (the LLC is probably optional for you).

The hardest part is finding a commercial kitchen rental or incubator, but once you find one they typically charge $15-30/hour.

Another plus of having a legal business is that you can typically deduct any business losses you have against your personal income.

gingerbreadtogo Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 1:56am
post #7 of 10

Jason, do you have a San Jose business lic for where your kitchen is, or Milpitas ?

jason_kraft Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:02am
post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by gingerbreadtogo

Jason, do you have a San Jose business lic for where your kitchen is, or Milpitas ?



The address of record for my business is my home in Milpitas, so I have a Milpitas business license. I could have used the commercial kitchen as the official business address, in which case I would need a San Jose license, but using my home address makes it easier to change commercial kitchens if necessary (you would just need a new inspection from the county the commercial kitchen is located in).

LindaF144a Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:13am
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Contact your local Health Department and ask. In some places the Dept. Of Ag would have the answers. They can tell you the informaton better than we can. Each state has different laws and rules and sometimes they do vary county to county.




Agreed, if this is important then call your local board of health, not post to a cake forum.

And even you took money for one cake and you lived in an area that requires licensing, then yes you are illegal.

But again, call your board of health, or department of agriculture. Getting one person here to say yes will not make it right.

4realLaLa Posted 16 Sep 2010 , 2:18am
post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

If you accept compensation of any kind for your products (even just the cost of ingredients), you need to be a licensed business in order to be legal. Depending on your state you may be able to get a license for a commercial home kitchen. Liability insurance is also strongly recommended as well as an LLC, since all of your personal assets are at risk if you face a lawsuit.

If you make your cakes for free you should be fine.




So true.. I just ask my family to buy what I need. If I'm out of unsalted butter I ask them to buy it. I don't take the money. If I have all the ingredients I just make the cake. I enjoy it so it's no biggie for me.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%