What Order To Do Things - Starting A Cake Business

Business By bluenote865 Updated 1 Mar 2012 , 6:09pm by petiterouge42

bluenote865 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:29am
post #1 of 9

Hello!
I'm in the process of starting my cake business here in VA, and trying to navigate the sea of paperwork to become 'legit'. I've decided that I probably need to become an LLC, but I'm not sure what to do first. For example, do I need to have a commercial kitchen rental set up? Do I still need a health inspection if I'm renting commercial space?

Maybe there's someone out there who can tell me exactly what order they proceeded in...

8 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 3:38am
post #2 of 9

I'm not in VA, but I think these things are pretty similar everywhere unless your state has cottage food law.

You can start by registering as an LLC. It's really simple to do online, and not too expensive. Next you can register to get an FEIN with the IRS, and you will also need to register with your state for paying sales tax.

If VA doesn't have CFL, you do have to work out of a licensed kitchen, and you do have to have the rented kitchen inspected by the health department or department of agriculture, whichever has jurisdiction over bakeries in your area. HTH!

scp1127 Posted 29 Feb 2012 , 6:16am
post #3 of 9

There are many CC members who live in VA who can help you. Just watch the thread and give them time to respond.

bluenote865 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 2:13pm
post #4 of 9

VA does have a CFL! I only just realized that this makes it possible to bake out of my home - another question though, I use SMBC - this is fine, right? The cottage food law just means things like mousses are out until I get a certified and inspected space?

scp1127 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 2:45pm
post #5 of 9

You should ask the HD or the agency in charge of CFL. It does contain egg whites and butter. Another thing to consider with CFL and perishables... eggs are not safe until they reach 160 degrees. Take this fact into consideration with your SMBC as you start serving the public.

petiterouge42 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 2:51pm
post #6 of 9

The health dept in VA does not like use of egg whites in icing, or anything that requires refrigeration. They will test samples of your items when they come inspect your kitchen, they send them to a lab to test them, and usually they end up not letting you use that recipe.

Get in touch with the local dept of agriculture, they have a packet that explains what you need to do to pass inspection- and what requirements your kitchen has to have (double sink, non-porous counter-top workspace, proper sanitation tools, separate space for all cake tools and ingredients etc)

bluenote865 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 3:48pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
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The health dept in VA does not like use of egg whites in icing, or anything that requires refrigeration. They will test samples of your items when they come inspect your kitchen, they send them to a lab to test them, and usually they end up not letting you use that recipe.




Even though when cooking them, I make sure they reach 160 degrees? Also, butter is not perishable with the amount of sugar we all use to make buttercream, right?

petiterouge, are you in VA? I'd love to PM you with some questions if you don't mind - it's so helpful, since I'm just starting out, to have someone who's gone through all the hoops before me in MY home state. I guess I'm wondering if the cottage food law applies to non-perishables, and the cake and icing are non-perishable, do I need a health inspection at all? Or am I OK with labeling the cakes with the standard "Not for Resale - Made in a facility that is NOT health-inspected" or whatever the wording is.

petiterouge42 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:05pm
post #8 of 9

Yes I am in Virginia. It does vary by county, what county are you in?

It does not matter if you cook the egg whites, they want to make sure you are doing it properly, and may not allow you to. They require a list of all your recipes and step by step on how you make them, and if they see egg whites in an icing recipe they will want you to prepare that for them for testing.

The health dept had me make some icing for them with butter to make sure the amount of sugar was enough to counter balance, and make it shelf stable enough.

Yes you need an inspection if you want proper licensing. I did hear somewhere (not from the health dept) that you can sell if you have that label of - made from a non-inspected kitchen, but I don't know how accurate that currently is (and most customers will tend to shy away from your business after hearing that your kitchen is not inspected by the heath dept). It is for public safety- I personally would not want to purchase from anyone who has not had their kitchen inspected, even if I knew them; I would want to make sure they were doing everything to make sure that the food they are selling is safe to consume.

petiterouge42 Posted 1 Mar 2012 , 6:09pm
post #9 of 9

Ok I just saw you linked to your website where you have your cakes for sale. If you are not legal yet I would not be advertising, if you get caught you do face possible fines.

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