Home Business Owners..

Business By noahsmummy Updated 13 Nov 2011 , 1:17pm by Mietta

noahsmummy Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 6:04am
post #1 of 11

ok.. so just had a phone call from council.. again.

Last year I was told I could not have a home business due to food safety regs. So I emailed them this week asking if i hired a commercial kitchen, did my baking there, and then decorated from home, would that be ok? Got a phone call today saying i can bake and decorate from home so long as "the odors dont interfere with the neighbors and they receive no complaints"

so now im even more confused.. I am seriously considering starting this business as I have had a lot of requests, so I know there is a market, ive also got a 2 year old and im about to start uni.. so a home business will suit me to a t. anyway, the point to my rambling is, has anyone used the advice of a business consultant? if so, would that be the right thing for me to do, seeing as my council seems to be a bit "strange" and can manage to confuse me with a sentence. lol. Also, does anyone know what im looking at this costing? And would I need any others professional services?

thanks for your help!

10 replies
Evoir Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 7:00am
post #2 of 11

My council is similarly vague, though in my zoning I am able to make cakes they have established, LOL! The restrictions have to do with signage, transacting money (all my clients direct deposit the full amount before they get their cake), and how much traffic or people coming and going is going to occur gfrom your residential home.

I know you are on the central coast, so I am assuming this is a similar scenario to you. The health inspectors may not be a PART of your council, but they work from there. So, they may still require a separate inspection of your home to see if it meets OHS/food safety standards. I was told to arrange this with these inspectors myself. I'm still waiting to hear back from them.

With regard to other services - I would suggest keeping good records at home, and depending on the volume sold, get an accountant to advise you on what you need to be doing. Another good way of getting good business advice is to see what is available via the local, state and federal governments. I know I attended (years and years ago) a BEC (Business Education Centre) seminar which was free, and they have plenty of resources available. Also - there are many really good short courses available through adult learning centres like the WEA.

I can't comment on the business consultant thing - I am more of a hands-on person myself. I actually don't think most would understand the way cake decorating works in Australia (ie how most of it is done by cake decorators from home-based businesses). So seek your own answers from as many sources as possible!

BTW, what are you studying at uni?

leily Posted 18 Jan 2011 , 1:42pm
post #3 of 11

as i'm in the US i can't comment on the regulations in Austrailia. But i just want to suggest that whatever the council tells you get it in writting!! Expecially since they're already giving you two different versions of what you can do.

noahsmummy Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 12:49pm
post #4 of 11

hmm yes im going to have to do alot more digging around i think, and i also considered doing a small business course...

and i just found out iwas accepted into my first choice.. b.arts/b. secondary teaching. =) im hoping to major in history. so now ive got some big decisions to make surrounding that as well...

Evoir Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 9:46pm
post #5 of 11

Remember to follow your heart and do what you feel most passionate about. The rest will follow. I went to uni, got a degree, worked in that profession for over a decade. It was lucrative and I did like helping people, but without the creative outlet I was unhappy. So I am more satisfied with my work now than I have ever been!

Of course, you can still make cakes for people and do another job or have another career. I just preferred giving in entirely to my passion!

Best of luck icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 10:08pm
post #6 of 11

What neighbor wouldn't like the "odor" of fresh baked goods? LOL!

cupadeecakes Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:05am
post #7 of 11

Whne I was building the commercial kitchen on to my home, the health dept said my kitchen could have NO access from the home. The zoning board said it HAD to have a common door since it was a home-based business. That's when I started asking for everything in writing. Who won? Well, there is a door from my commercial kitchen to the house!

CWR41 Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:09am
post #8 of 11
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

What neighbor wouldn't like the "odor" of fresh baked goods? LOL!

Exactly! Much better than smelling charcoal lighter fluid from next door!

CbyA Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:43am
post #9 of 11


For you girls who own a home-base business, I'm in the process but I do not understand this, I'm in Rio Rancho, NM. (where it's allowed) but I cannot sell online??? What about advertising? I can't have a webpage either??? PLEASE I need your help!! icon_sad.gif

noahsmummy Posted 20 Jan 2011 , 1:49am
post #10 of 11

thank evoir. the plan is to eventually have a home business.. right now id love to be able to have my cake business and go to uni part time.. buuut i only 20.. so i guess ive got a few years to get everything done that i want to do... maybe.. lol

haha and i was thinking the same thing about the "odors" lol!

its sounds like most councils are like mine.. they sure do like to make things difficult. =)

Mietta Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:17pm
post #11 of 11

Noahsmummy, Gosford Council have a business consultant that undertakes queries relating to food businesses conducted at home. All Councils in and around Australia have different rules but all are govered by Food Safety Standards Australia/NZ so you'll eventually have to start spending money somewhere along the line in order to be legit.

There are also insurance and tax considerations, especially if you're getting Austudy.

As another poster has said, get everything in writing because Council policies do change as do workers.

And yes, believe it or not, an odour complaint is a valid one. Working a food business in a residential area can be tricky. We had a takeaway shop in our neighbourhood who was forced to stop cooking bacon because the smell offended a certain section of the community. I kid you not.

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