Hi I'm new to the forum portion of cake central, and my question is this. how do I go about approaching a bakery and asking to partner up ? I don't want to actually partner up in terms of buying part of there business but more so use there ovens so I can make my cakes , since I can not do this from my home. My thought process with this is , If I went to our local baker and presented them with the work I have done and asked if they would be able to rent me there kitchen but also higher me as a side cake person .I have my own business cards and name but I work on the side for them ( I don't know the actual term, and I tend to confuse my self, I hope I'm not doing the same to whom ever is reading this ) but heres what im trying to say ... For example I would make cakes in there shop, sell them there but they don't pay me as there cake decorater (im not an employee of theres) I use my own recipes and supplies but rent there ovens and sell my cakes with them , my cake sells are my profit my income ,but because I bake in there shop and sell there I share the profit of that cake sale with them , but I'm separate from there own bakery but not an actuall partner . Is this even a good idea ? Are there documents I should be filling out for this , do I need a culinary degree to do this , how do I professionally aproch or even pitch the idea to a bakery ? or should I just rent an oven from someplace and call it day ? And if that's the case how do I even go about doing that ? I don't have much experience when it comes to "selling my self" sort of speak and I contribute that to just being so young , I spent 3 years in college wasting away time and money for a career I no longer want, what I want is to make cakes.. I fell in love with it but I don't have a professional back ground and being in the military we move around so often that opening an actuall shop doesn't make Sence . But is anyone else also familiar with the legal steps it takes to sell cakes . The sales tax, and licence types are so confusing and I don't know which is the proper form ? Any information and help is greatly appreciated . Iv asked friends who already sell cakes for advice ,but there doing it from home and don't have any licence I don't want to run into and legal problems which is why I'm going this route or should I just not even worry about it and sell from home with out any licence ? I'm so confused and all of this is holding me back from advertising that I can make cakes I'm even afraid to charge so I've just charged people for the ingredients ( I can't even call that charging ) I give them a list of things I will need they purchase the ingredients and give them to me and I make them the cake . I'm not making any profit what so ever and I'm litertly just making cakes for free , for fun and for friends I want to reach more people but not make more then two-three cakes or cupcake batches a week so it's not like I'm going to turn into a huge bakery but I don't know the proper measures . And I'm sorry for all the questions , I'm such a worry wort .
The legal requirements for operating a bakery vary from state to state (assuming you are in the US), some states have cottage food laws that allow you to legally bake from home under certain conditions.
If your state does not have a CFL, I recommend approaching the bakery in question and either requesting to be hired as an employee (or at least an intern so you can work your way up) or asking about renting out their kitchen space for your own business, but not both. For the latter option I would recommend having at least a basic background in business. If you are looking to be hired then obviously your portfolio will be critical, but you won't need it if you are just renting out space.
BTW you may want to edit your post to insert paragraph breaks, as it is now it's a little difficult to read.
Thank you for the advice , I'll try and keep that In mind for future long post. Im currently stationed in NJ , however I transfer out in June so I'm thinking I should wait till we get our new orders to we're We'll be stationed next to go threw the eniter process. I'm not so Shur it's even worth it when I don't plan on making this into a huge business, wouldn't I screw my self when it came to reporting my income on taxes since it wouldnt be much , like wouldnt I owe when it came to sales taxes.
Iv read alot about the cottage food law/licence , but I can't find anything about it on the local city of commerce web site in my area or with the county clerk office (and can you believe that they have no idea what I'm talking about when i call and ask , i get transferd so many times). They have so many forms and numbers, that it is extreamly confusing I don't want to fill out the wrong forms . As of right know I have a form called the "public records filing for new business entity" and another for "NJ certificate of business trade name ".
I clearly have no idea what I'm doing or what Im filling out. At times I think I'm over thinking it and it's just making my head spin.
In terms of the bakery , I don't really think they would be comfortable highering someone with no actual educational background in cake making /decorating even if I brought my portfolio. it would be a chance that maybe they wouldn't want to make unless I lucked out . But I have to try right lol... thank you for responding to my post .
NJ does not currently have a cottage food law, the people to talk to would be the county or state health dept or dept of agriculture. (Some military bases may have different rules if you live on-base.) You would talk to city hall about business licenses (which is separate from health inspections) and the county clerks office typically handles things like registering business names.
I would be very careful about accepting money for cakes beyond family and close friends, and you are right to hold off on advertising. Sales tax is not an issue in most states, since food sold to-go is typically not subject to sales tax.
Income tax is a different story, all income must be declared to the IRS (this would probably fall under "other income" on 1040 line 21 but ask your accountant to be sure) and your state. You can't really screw yourself by declaring this income, if you are not making a net profit (i.e. you are only accepting enough to pay for ingredients) then you would owe no income tax.
The lack of formal education in cake decorating won't be an issue if you have a good portfolio and can demonstrate that you can bake and decorate a cake efficiently.
I can not legally sell anything on base with out a business licenses ,nor can I conduct business or exchange money in our home on base . I have no choice but to get a licence but then I run into the problem of not being able to sell frommy home anyway because of the HD conditions and base rules .living on base comes with so many rules that I'm kind of stuck.
So I have only limited my self to family and close friends and only have them pay and purchase ingredients. Anything else like pearl dust , molds, tips, cutters etc... that I need to make or design there cakes comes out of my own pocket. Not a very smart way to conduct my business as its a quick way to go broke but I struggle with all the legal issues and forms with our sates as well as the military base rules. I'm stuck in limbo lol...
I'm really just left with one choice and that is like you said either intern or see if a local backery will higher me as a cake decorater for them , and hopfuly with time and expirance I'll be able to look into branching out on my own one day when I can fully.Understand the process or if Im stationed in a place were the cottage law is available making life easier and less confusing .
But really I appreciate all the information you have given, thank you !