Stuck On Writing The Business Plan

Business By bhart0789 Updated 26 Mar 2012 , 3:18am by rubiarubia

bhart0789 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 6:13pm
post #1 of 11

So I am half way to becoming a legal home occupation that produces baked and decorated cakes/cupcakes, BUT I am stuck on the business plan.
When I talked to Dep of Ag (the ones who do the home inspection) they said they aren't the bank and just want to know the basics (Ingredients used and where they are purchased, a plan for storage for supplies, equip, and finished product, a general production flow-including procedures and equip used, how I will transport, and a list of potential locations I plan to sell my product). All of the listed items are right off of their application list.
My question is that they say they want a brief business plan, does this mean I have to go into full fledged detail about the financial aspect, target market, management, etc? I have looked at sample business plans and I just have no clue where to start. I feel more confused than before I even start searching. Any advice?

Also, just another question to throw in, what is the deal with tax ID #'s/EIN's? When do I do this? How do you report your earnings to the IRS? I am completely clueless as to this section of the mountain of 'to-do' lists before I can legally sell cakes from my home.

10 replies
costumeczar Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 6:33pm
post #2 of 11

What state are you in? It sounds like the stuff I had to do for Virginia...

I never wrote a business plan. I wasn't borrowing money, so I never needed anything formal. I think they probably just want a description of what you're going to be selling and where you're planning on selling it. Just keep it basic.

I got my tax ID the same day that I got my business license. I filled out the license, then the business license office sent me over to the sales tax office, where I filled out their paperwork, then I went back to the business license people and they finished my paperwork. I got a Federal EIN next so that I'd have one on file. If you're going to buy from wholesalers they sometimes ask you for one, and when you fill out your sales tax online in VA they use it as your ID number and ask for one specifically.

bhart0789 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 6:39pm
post #3 of 11

I am in NC so we are close icon_smile.gif I haven't heard anything about getting a business license. Dep of Ag said they don't give permits or anything but the inspection papers. I received my zoning permit the other day as well but no one I have spoken with about becoming a home occupation has said anything about a business license. How should I look into that?

costumeczar Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 7:46pm
post #4 of 11

Call your county government's office and ask how to get one. I'd assume that you have to have a business license if they require an inspection...I don't know, so you should find out for sure by calling and finding out the process.

bhart0789 Posted 23 Mar 2012 , 8:17pm
post #5 of 11

No one has said anything about a business license yet, just about the tax stuff. I am on hold with the IRS right now to figure out if I need to get anything from them. I will call back to my state office and find out if I need a business license though. Thank you for the help, I feel like my brain is on overload! At first I just wanted this to be a 'little money on the side' kind of deal, but shoot, if I have to pay county, state, and gov't taxes and go through this much trouble I am better off just putting all of my effort into it and making it a true business!


EDIT

So I called back to the state office and all I have to do is submit a Certificate of Assumed Name to my county and I am good to go. I still have to get a hold of the IRS office which I am hoping to do today before they close at 7. Still have to finish the business plan as well. I want to just include the things they say they want to see, but I don't want to look like I am giving the minimal effort, but after all of the phone calls and information I feel so burnt out, lol. Maybe I should get a business degree instead of a nursing one!

scp1127 Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 5:32am
post #6 of 11

A business license is a requirement in most areas if you are going to do any type of business. Call City Hall for the correct information on this.

costumeczar Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 12:16pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhart0789

No one has said anything about a business license yet, just about the tax stuff. I am on hold with the IRS right now to figure out if I need to get anything from them. I will call back to my state office and find out if I need a business license though. Thank you for the help, I feel like my brain is on overload! At first I just wanted this to be a 'little money on the side' kind of deal, but shoot, if I have to pay county, state, and gov't taxes and go through this much trouble I am better off just putting all of my effort into it and making it a true business!


EDIT

So I called back to the state office and all I have to do is submit a Certificate of Assumed Name to my county and I am good to go. I still have to get a hold of the IRS office which I am hoping to do today before they close at 7. Still have to finish the business plan as well. I want to just include the things they say they want to see, but I don't want to look like I am giving the minimal effort, but after all of the phone calls and information I feel so burnt out, lol. Maybe I should get a business degree instead of a nursing one!




I'd call and check on this again...Did you call the tax office or the health department? The HD doesn't have anything to do with licensing requirements, and I know that to get a sales tax number I had to have a business license. Same for getting tax numbers form the Fed govt. You might want to check again, it's not hard to fill out a business license and then at least you'll have all of your paperwork done.

Apti Posted 25 Mar 2012 , 3:56pm
post #8 of 11

bhart0789~~In the midst of the confusion and learning curve about the business aspects of selling cakes, I just wished to offer congratulations on your new endeavor!

rubiarubia Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 12:30am
post #9 of 11

Although I'm in California and so can't offer any advice on the specifics of your licensing, inspections, etc., I can tell you that I've been working with my local Small Business Development Center, which is a part of the Small Business Administration, a federal agency. They have been outstanding in providing guidance through all the licensing and registering I've had to deal with here, they give financial planning help, business plan writing help, etc. My local office doesn't have any food industry specialists, so they've referred me to a consultant in Napa who has given me some really wonderful guidance. And it's all free (well, paid for with tax dollars!). I highly recommend looking them up online and finding your local office. Hope that helps, and congrats in getting things going! It's a looooong, hard, overwhelming road, but so exciting!

Apti Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 1:10am
post #10 of 11

rubiarubia~~Did you know about the vote for the Cottage Food Act on March 27th? You and all your friends should go online and sign the petition and send an email. Here's the link by jason_kraft:

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=739800&highlight=

Just go to the link below. It has a sample letter and a link to help you find your Senator and Assembly representative.

http://www.theselc.org/cottagefood/takeaction/

rubiarubia Posted 26 Mar 2012 , 3:18am
post #11 of 11

Yes, thank you! I have heard about that, and I'm very excited to see what happens. I've signed petitions and whatnot, so hopefully I've done my part. Hope it goes through!

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