I live in CA where they don't have a cottage bakery law, you have to rent space at a licensed kitchen. The church I go to is willing to see what is involved for them to be able to qualify for me to rent space. Here's my delima I only do a few cakes every couple of months on average ( sometimes none other times 2 or 3 a month) and I work full time. I don't think I would have hard time getting business since I am turning business down because I don't feel right taking orders since I'm not licensed. Right now it is only family and two aquaintances that I took orders from ( I have since told them that I can't do orders for any of their friends because of the license issue ). Is it worth getting a license if you only do a couple a month ?
A business license is legal authorization to operate a business in a city, county, or state. All you do is fill out a form, pay a small fee... and that's it. There is no test. In SF it was $125 bucks and I had to run my name in the paper, which was an additional $45. Wherever you are it can't be more expensive then that.
Yes it's "worth" it considering in most areas, operating a business without registering your business is illegal and subject to hefty fines and penalties, and as soon as you accept any money at all, you are acting as a business and subject to follow the law.
And in return? You can buy wholesale. Just about anything wholesale, including food, office supplies, kitchen equipment, office equipment, computer equipment, software... even if I decided to quit making cakes I'd keep up the license just to be able to buy stuff for a fraction of retail!
Yes. If you don't have a license (from the health dept which requires an inspection, as opposed to a business license anyone can get), your business can be shut you down at any time. It is also important to protect yourself with liability insurance and correctly report your sales on your income tax returns.
Unfortunately California doesn't make it easy for home bakers to legally sell their products, so at this point you would be better off not charging for your cakes at all.
There is a cottage food law here currently working its way through committee, you can find more information at the thread below. If you help support this law and it is passed, home baking businesses would become legal in California (with certain restrictions).
The point is that you talk about going to church. It really doesn't matter how many cakes you do. First of all I think you should obey God's law and God's law says that you should obey the laws of the land as long as they don't go against God's law. Enough said!
Boy leepat, you nailed that one. I have been reading posts for three years about justifications for illegal baking and licensed character cakes/trademark/copyright infringement, with a Christian tag on the post. I have never commented but I sure see it.