Question About Starting Home Business In Ca

Business By WhiskMeAwayCakes Updated 26 Feb 2011 , 8:11pm by jason_kraft

WhiskMeAwayCakes Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:01pm
post #1 of 9

I am starting a home business in LA/Orange County in CA. It is mainly so I can "legally" sell to family and friends and friends of friends but I am not expecting to make a ton of money from it. Its more of a side thing.

I am filing for DBA on Tuesday and then opening a small business bank account. Do I need to file for a business license?

I am aware I can not legally cook in my home, so I will be using the kitchen at my work which is a state approved, health inspected kitchen in a restaurant. Since it is already inspected by the health department will it need to be inspected again? Or do I just show proof that its been inspected?

8 replies
jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:32pm
post #2 of 9

It varies from county to county, but usually you need to be inspected separately so the health dept can make sure you are following the correct food safety procedures in the kitchen. You will need a business license from your municipality and business liability insurance to cover yourself, you may need to show the inspector a food safety training certificate as well.

Also make sure you have a written contract with the restaurant that allows you to make food there to sell on your own, and keep your equipment and ingredients separate from the restaurant's.

tryingcake Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:34pm
post #3 of 9

Hi!! I live right around the corner in Cypress. I hang in LB all the time.

Orange county does not allow you to rent kitchen space - even from a commercial venue. It sucks. That's why we don't have any rented kitchens here.

Long Beach is easier to get away with. You cannot RENT the space, but you can borrow the space - which is how I operate. No, you do not get place inspected again... you are merely borrowing space in an existing established kitchen. But as the above poster stated - you will need to have a food handling certificate.

Be aware of this. You cannot, legally, carry your stuff back and forth. Not even your favorite spoon. It all has to stay on site. It's a huge pain in the rear. Do I always follow this? Honestly, no. But I risk getting caught. So, technically this space your borrowing must have extra space for all of your stuff.

Yes, you need a business license. You are your own business, so you need a license.

I hear they are cracking down and we may not even be allowed to borrow space anymore. We will need to be employees of that business. Of course, you can work around this too if it's a good friend of yours letting you use the space. In that case, you will not need a license - but you friend will be taxed.... get it?

I can tell you, in California, it's almost impossible to fully legally start a business of any kind, not just food related, anymore unless you are a big conglomerate. The government does not like new small businesses. It's really sad. They say they encourage it. But they don't really. It's insane.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:38pm
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

I can tell you, in California, it's almost impossible to fully legally start a business of any kind, not just food related, anymore unless you are a big conglomerate. The government does not like new small businesses. It's really sad. They say they encourage it. But they don't really. It's insane.



Sounds more like an Orange County thing, here in northern CA (Santa Clara County) the health dept is pretty easy to work with. I have no idea why they don't allow rented commercial kitchens, that makes absolutely no sense to me, it could be a decent source of income for the county in terms of inspection fees and income taxes.

tryingcake Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 6:50pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

I can tell you, in California, it's almost impossible to fully legally start a business of any kind, not just food related, anymore unless you are a big conglomerate. The government does not like new small businesses. It's really sad. They say they encourage it. But they don't really. It's insane.


Sounds more like an Orange County thing, here in northern CA (Santa Clara County) the health dept is pretty easy to work with. I have no idea why they don't allow rented commercial kitchens, that makes absolutely no sense to me, it could be a decent source of income for the county in terms of inspection fees and income taxes.




Because OC has it's head up it's rear in thinking they are better than everyone else. I really don't like living here. But it's where I am and this is where life is keeping me right now.

When I lived in the desert the Health Dept even let us bake out of our home. It was still illegal, I guess, but they really worked with us and were more realistic. It had to meet all the standards, of course, but they seemed to live in the real world there.

I like your area, pretty!! Never lived there. Lived in Sacramento for 6 months when I first came to CA (CHP Academy for what is now my ex). Then we got stationed down here and I've been here ever since.

WhiskMeAwayCakes Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 7:02pm
post #6 of 9

Thanks for all the replies so far. I had no idea that you can't rent space, I thought you were allowed to since they don't allow cooking from a home kitchen. I am an employee of where I would cook, and part of my business is doing cupcakes for events there so well see

I do have ServeSafe certification through 2012 so I'm good on that. What are peoples opinions of I just do the DBA and get a checking account so people can write checks to my business name but not go any further? Like I said, it's really just a side thing selling to family and friends, not something I'm trying to make into a huge thing right now.

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 7:24pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiskMeAwayCakes

Thanks for all the replies so far. I had no idea that you can't rent space, I thought you were allowed to since they don't allow cooking from a home kitchen. I am an employee of where I would cook, and part of my business is doing cupcakes for events there so well see



You definitely need to clear this with your employer first...if I were running a restaurant and one of my employees was using my kitchen to make products to sell on their own without getting approval, that employee would be fired.

Quote:
Quote:

What are peoples opinions of I just do the DBA and get a checking account so people can write checks to my business name but not go any further? Like I said, it's really just a side thing selling to family and friends, not something I'm trying to make into a huge thing right now.



If you're going to operate illegally you are probably better off accepting cash only so you don't leave a paper trail, there's no point in filing for a DBA either. You will still have to declare your cash income to the IRS though, and your personal assets will still be at risk because you probably won't be able to get liability insurance coverage.

WhiskMeAwayCakes Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 7:30pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_kraft


You definitely need to clear this with your employer first...if I were running a restaurant and one of my employees was using my kitchen to make products to sell on their own without getting approval, that employee would be fired.




They are already aware, I am doing cupcakes for them for events on site, they asked me to do them and support everything. I'm not using the kitchen during work for personal reasons

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2011 , 8:11pm
post #9 of 9

OK...from your wording it sounded like future tense, if you have something in writing you should be fine from the perspective of the restaurant at least.

You also might want to avoid advertising your business on Facebook (or anyone else) until you can get legal.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%