Rodriguez-km Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:27pm
post #1 of

I'm a hobby baker, since last year I've been baking birthday cakes for my family. That's at least one every month, which doesn't bother me at all because I enjoy it plus I get to practice decorating them. But is it okay if I start charging them, maybe just for ingredients?

26 replies
jason_kraft Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:30pm
post #2 of

AFrom a legal perspective, the risk is minimal if you only charge family members and do not advertise, hand out business cards, create a business web site, or mention selling cakes on your personal web site or FB page.

Rodriguez-km Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:35pm
post #3 of

Oh I see, thanks for your reply!
 

-K8memphis Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:35pm
post #4 of

i don't even see a legal risk at all myself

 

no more than babysitting for them or cut their hair or help paint the living room or pick up them up on the side of the road if their car breaks down or any other thing families do for each other

 

jmo

jason_kraft Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:46pm
post #5 of

AThe biggest risk I could see would be if a well-meaning family member or a guest at the family member's event starts spreading the word about OP's cakes and encouraging others to buy them. If word reaches the health dept (which is unlikely) they could issue a C&D.

Of course OP would also need to record the cash from family members as hobby income on their tax return, failure to do this could cause penalties in the (again unlikely) case of an audit.

Rodriguez-km Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 3:49pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Of course OP would also need to record the cash from family members as hobby income on their tax return, failure to do this could cause penalties in the (again unlikely) case of an audit.

 

That's true. I guess I'm better off just giving the cake as a gift thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 4:00pm
post #7 of

i personally don't consider it risky to receive a cease & desist if i neither commence nor proceed in the first place

 

i see no risk--ultimately there's no loss to me

 

but there is loss to me if you have to buy all the ingredients for a family member's party and don't get reimbursed

 

it's another of those personal decisions

ddaigle Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 4:08pm
post #8 of

I don't charge for immediate family members....but when my MIL insists and shoves a $20 in my pocket....I smile, give her a kiss, and graciously say "Thank You!"   As a hobby baker, excepting tokens from family ....is not against any law ....(in my book).

Rodriguez-km Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 4:15pm
post #9 of

I will keep doing them for free,like I said, it doean't bother me, but hey if they want to give me at least 10 bucks I won't say no! Haha

AtomicBakes Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 7:22pm

I agree with Debbie. Immediate family members are free. Now if they want you to do a cake for their best friend or their classmate, etc, then I would charge them at least the ingredients. It all depends on where you are in your process. For me, I am doing cakes for free for family, but I decide on the design so that I can learn something new with each cake. I will do cakes for cost for co-workers or people I know assuming I can fit it in my schedule ( baking is just a hobby) and they know that I am doing it for cost because I want cakes for my portfolio. I also let them know that when I decide that I am ready to start making cakes for profit (assuming the Louisiana Cottage Food Law passes in April), my prices will be in line with area standards, although co-workers will likely always receive a set discount.

BakingIrene Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 7:29pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodriguez-km 

I'm a hobby baker, since last year I've been baking birthday cakes for my family. That's at least one every month, which doesn't bother me at all because I enjoy it plus I get to practice decorating them. But is it okay if I start charging them, maybe just for ingredients?

You can practise some business skills right now--get your family used to placing their requests for cakes ahead of time.  No cash yet.

 

You can ask for payment once you are licensed according to your local regulations.  Then you can give family orders a discount according to your prices and what they ask for.  I gave cakes free to relatives over 60 regardless of how much anybody else paid.

Rodriguez-km Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 7:58pm

Thank you all  for your replies!

carmijok Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:17pm

Oh my God!  I am amazed at all the dangerous scenarios presented here if the OP decides to take $20 from her family for expenses!  Just deliver the cake in an unmarked vehicle at midnight by your family's back door to be sure no one sees you!  icon_lol.gif

 

To the OP...this hobby...as I'm sure you're aware...can get quite expensive.  If someone in your family wants you do a cake for them then just tell them yes and give them a grocery list of what you'll need.  No money changes hands, but less expense for you.  Then you can go buy cake toys with the money you've saved.  Win-win. 

jason_kraft Posted 27 Mar 2013 , 8:30pm

A

Original message sent by carmijok

Oh my God!  I am amazed at all the dangerous scenarios presented here if the OP decides to take $20 from her family for expenses!  Just deliver the cake in an unmarked vehicle at midnight by your family's back door to be sure no one sees you! 

Don't forget to switch out the license plates before you make the delivery and wear disguises in case you are under surveillance.

SweetMelissa730 Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 1:49pm

A

Original message sent by jason_kraft

Don't forget to switch out the license plates before you make the delivery and wear disguises in case you are under surveillance.

Definitely, this is a must! You can never be to careful! And always keep an eye out for a tail.... :D

cazza1 Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 1:59pm

You people are being ridiculous.  Don't you know 'Big Brother is watching you ALL THE TIME'.

paulstonia Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 2:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


Don't forget to switch out the license plates before you make the delivery and wear disguises in case you are under surveillance.

Maybe you better have your husband leave at the same time in a decoy vehicle so they won't know which vehicle the cake is in, better safe than sorry!

ChefAngie Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 2:33pm

Let's list everything:

-cake ingredients-butter, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, salt, extracts, confectioners sugar, butter or shortening, colors

-box and board

-electricity, gas, and water

-time and labor

Is all of that free.

Happy Baking and Decorating,

Chef Angie

kikiandkyle Posted 10 Apr 2013 , 6:52pm

Of course it sounds completely ridiculous, but the majority of the time it is friends and relatives that call to report illegal bakers. 

 

I actually checked with my local county's health dept and they said I can charge whatever I like to friends and family, I just can't advertise or sell to the general public without getting licensed/inspected. If you think you'd be comfortable asking for reimbursement then it's worth calling your local office just to ask, rather than being extra cautious and either footing the bill yourself or turning down cakes because you don't want to pay for all the supplies. 

Artistsway2 Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 3:54pm

AThanks to the OP for posting and all of the replies. This was a very helpful topic.

Sissys Goodies Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 4:51pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

Of course it sounds completely ridiculous, but the majority of the time it is friends and relatives that call to report illegal bakers. 

 

I actually checked with my local county's health dept and they said I can charge whatever I like to friends and family, I just can't advertise or sell to the general public without getting licensed/inspected. If you think you'd be comfortable asking for reimbursement then it's worth calling your local office just to ask, rather than being extra cautious and either footing the bill yourself or turning down cakes because you don't want to pay for all the supplies. 

Yes, this has actually happened to me!! (I make cakes for my friends and family, and only charge them for ingredients because I am not licensed or legal)

 

My aunt and I got into an argument a couple months ago... She was mad at something my SISTER did (I wasnt even involved), and started yelling and threatening My family over it (even though she never once actually called or said a word to my sister..)!!!

So, of course I got defensive and told to stop threatening me and leave me out of the situation, with a couple of  added choice words icon_redface.gif....

But then she goes to say, in her exact words.. "You better watch it missy, im sure my friends at the FDA would love to know about that little business you have running"....

THE NERVE!!! Not to mention that she herself has ordered from me and had just asked me to do a cake for her sisters birthday!!! 

 

Anyway, just needed to vent.. Thinking about it still makes my blood boil... It sucks that your own family would be willing to throw you under the bus like that... 

jason_kraft Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 4:57pm

A

Original message sent by Sissys Goodies

But then she goes to say, in her exact words.. "You better watch it missy, im sure my friends at the FDA would love to know about that little business you have running"....

That's pretty funny, considering the FDA does not have jurisdiction over your little business. If she had friends at the county health department that would be a different story.

Sissys Goodies Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 5:07pm

yea thats true.. she was most likely just saying it to scare me or something, but its still hurtful.... 

kikiandkyle Posted 16 Apr 2013 , 5:24pm

Exactly my point!

remnant3333 Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 2:17am

Sissys Goodies, I am so sorry that you have family that would treat you like that!!  This sounds like something my family would do to me too. People can be so cruel sometimes.  

Luckily, I have never charged anybody for anything when I make them cakes. I actually quit doing cakes except for grandkids and a few of my neighbor's kids because it got to be too much for me especially when you would have 6-8 cakes all within one week of each other. Now, I just stick with doing the kid's cakes. 


Gingerlocks Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 3:21am

If I were you I would total up all my costs: butter, fondant, cake board, flour..etc. and charge them for the ingredients at the very least. Otherwise you may get resentful pretty quick..not to mention often it can just be an expectation that you always provide the cake.

manddi Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 11:46am

This thread is 2 years old...

Gingerlocks Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 10:21pm

Lol manddi, now I feel dumb! I wonder why it got resurrected to the front page?   

MBalaska Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 10:31pm

http://thebizofbaking.com/working-for-free/

 

This is a super good article from the business of baking website on this subject. 

Gingerlocks Posted 17 Mar 2015 , 1:40am


Quote by @MBalaska on 3 hours ago

http://thebizofbaking.com/working-for-free/

 

This is a super good article from the business of baking website on this subject. 

I now know this thread is old..but that article is amazing; it gets straight to the heart of the issue. We should be handing out a copy of it to all new cakers. 

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