I'm thinking about renting a restaurant kitchen and starting my own business in MD. But I don't know where to start? What do I do first?
Form an LLC
Apply for a small business loan
Find an appropriate kitchen to rent
Check with the local health department
Get a business license/license to sell in my city
I have no idea where to begin! Anyone with advice or resources that might help me figure out how to start?
Personally I would try finding a commercial kitchen rental first, as that will probably be the hardest step. You probably won't need a small business loan, your startup costs with a fully equipped rental kitchen shouldn't be more than a few thousand dollars.
Don't forget about applying for liability insurance and opening a business bank account in order to keep your personal and business finances separate (very important to maintain LLC status).
Maryland starts with the local health department. I live in Maryland on the eastern shore part of each week, but my shop is on the border in WV. I have gone through all of the approvals in that state because MD is my primary market. Lots of rules compared to other states, but good ones. I have adopted many of their requirements to WV too because they make good sense. Everyone in Maryland has been helpful. But some advice... ask for the application, study it, fill out most of it, and then ask for a meeting. Be as knowledgeable as you can be or it can be overwhelming. This way they will know you are serious and you will get the most help.
Thanks for the advice!
I guess my instincts must be pretty good, because so far the two steps I've taken have been to look for a commercial kitchen and to contact the health dept. I figured an LLC and business license won't matter if I can't get the permits to sell food!