I know there is a lot of home based cake business owners in FL here And would like to know if some of you can give me some guidance. I have been studying about what business structure to have and the more i read the more confused I get. I have been calling some CPAs to see if they can consult me but they charge a lot of money just for half hour. Could someone help me here? I want to register my cake business but dont know how. I am getting frustrated. the only thing i know is that i am cover by the FL cottage food law so i dont need to license my kitchen. Am I right?
As long as you follow the rules of the FL cottage food law (link below) you do not need to operate out of a commercial kitchen.
Your first step should be a business plan, which would include research on the demographics of your target market, your product assortment, pricing, marketing strategies, your competitive advantages, etc.
For your business structure, if you are operating the business yourself you are a sole proprietorship by default, but you can elect to form a LLC (limited liability company) to help shield your personal assets. In both cases you'll want to file for an employer ID number (link below) and get business liability insurance.
Forming an LLC is pretty easy, but if you need additional help you can try legalzoom:
If you do not form an LLC, you would need to file a d/b/a (doing business as) notice with your county with your business name. Contact your county government for more info on that.
Next is zoning, in some areas cities and/or HOAs have rules against operating home-based businesses, so check with city hall and your HOA (if any) to see what the rules are.
Finally you'll want to make sure you are carefully tracking all your expenses and income and saving your receipts/invoices. You can either handle the accounting yourself with a program like QuickBooks (you'll probably need help to set it up initially) or you can pay a CPA to do it.
Thank you so much! This info is great.
Thanks for the info. I to am interested in a home based business here in FL. I live right outside of Tampa and this info will definitely help.
You can go take a look at www.sunbiz.org You can set up your LLC directly with the State of Florida, it is easy. There is also some info on the types of businesses you can set up. HTH