Hey everyone! I have not been a member of Cake Central long but boy have I used a lot of the information!
I have been making cakes for 4 years now starting with my daughters first birthday cake, 4 years ago. I am by no means perfect but I am learning so much and have come a very long way from doing a simple 8in round cake 4 years ago to doing a fire engine for my son and a 2 tier sparkly zebra print cake for my cousin. I really enjoy it. I make cupcakes a lot now too!! I once used it as stress relief more than anything. I work as a full time EMT. I will be graduating Paramedic school in May of 2014 and then continuing on to complete my pre-med degree all while raising my two kids with my husband who is in the fire service. So as you can imagine my life can get pretty stressful at times. But, cake decorating has evolved from stress relief into something that I have made money at. My family members seek me for their cakes now and I continue to make them for work events and other things. My question is, what does it take to do this as a business?? Are there special licenses that I have to obtain to do it from home. I plan on using the items found in a standard kitchen. If it ever gets big enough I may consider purchasing a place to have a commercial kitchen. But for now I would just like to continue doing this for family and out reach to some other people from my surrounding community. Any input on how to do this, if it is a good idea, or anything really would be appreciated. Even names if you believe it would be a good idea would be great!! I live in a small town in Oklahoma if that matters for licensures or anything.
Thank you all so incredibly much!! I look forward to hearing your input!!
start here for oklahoma info and other info posted just today:
wait i got another one...
this is a n excellent thread on starting--seriously excellent--
not to say you don't have other issues and questions--just saying read those and ask away--
and thank you for you & your husband's self-less work for the community
AFirst step is to contact your local health department and make sure it's legal to sell cakes from home-if so where you can sell, some states only allow you to sell at designated areas like Farmers Markets. Stricter states require a seperate kitchen with its own door and water system-my state also requires a certain floor plan, three compartment sink, sep hand washing sink, etc. for direct sales.
Look up your states Cottage Food Law online to get a general idea, keep in mind your county requirements can be different as well-your health inspector will give you a packet.
There are plenty of people who bake from home illegally in my state, they get shut down.
You will need a Food Safety Certificate regardless (I believe this is minimal in all states with cottage laws). Some states require you label every item with all ingredients and a sticker that says its baked from home. Most states require an inspection also.
You need to contact your insurance company and get their permission also, added coverage is recommended/necessary. Some states have an income cap. You need to contact the state, get a tax ID.
These are the first steps, it depends on who you are baking for (some foods are restricted-like cheesecakes), where and your location. Maybe someone in your area will be able to tell you more.
AThank you so much for the links!! Anything helps!!! ;-D
AA business plan is your first step, but I'll let Jason tell you more about that. He has a great site for pricing, marketing, etc.
AThank you for all the information!!!
AHow do I contact Jason??
AAnd your welcome
Welcome to CC. My Grandmother was an EMT, she went to night school to get her RN while she worked full time and raised me. She worked in the ER for over 30yrs, she loved it-hard work!
AApparently, in Oklahoma they passed the Home Bakery Law in 2013. From what I understand you cannot sell at Farmers Markets, online, or anywhere else but you can sell from home.
You need to label every item, you cannot use Fresh/Frozen fruit of any kind and you have to pay quarterly sales tax as well as yearly. There are more restrictions but those were the main ones I saw-changes could have been made though so contact your HD.
It says certain baked goods and you can't make more then $20,000/yr
AThank you for the contact information for Jason!! I found the cottage food page and it had a link to the law. It was very short though, with no tax information! I will keep researching Thank you for the welcome!! I love the medical field especially the pre-hospital side! I even toyed with the idea of involving "medic" in my cake name lol!!
if everything goes through weebly is a great place to make a website! :) Hope this helps
it sounds like you would be more of a hobby baker at this point with school to finish and if you continue to pursue employment in the medical field--
the tax information you get from the irs of course--& you have to decide if you are a hobby baker or a business and follow the guidelines--report the extra income bladeebla--
there are several different gov't agencies to garner information from--some of the information is conflicting from agency to agency and sometimes from person to person in the same department ;) not always but it's not uncommon--so you'd be wise to try & speak to the same person if possible--
unfortunately it's not one stop shopping to set yourself up as a business or as a legally compliant hobby
AThank you everyone! I probably would fit into a hobby baker catagory! But I do aspire to bigger things lol. Thank you for the link to the IRS I got side tracked on the blog about how to set up a business lol!! There is definitely a lot to research and consider! I am very thankful to have found this site!!
ACheck out the Starting a Business link in my signature below for a high-level overview of what is required to start a business.
Note that relieving stress and operating a successful bakery business are usually mutually exclusive.
AThen do it as your hobby for now, nothing wrong with that!
Order some cake dummy's (the styrafoam) and practice on those, cover with fondant, take pictures, rip it off and start over. Perfect your recipes. Keep making cakes for your family (or whoever), work on your business plan in your spare time. Your work will only get better, cleaner, then when & if your ready you'll really be ready ;)
AThank you Jason!i read all your blog posts earlier I gained a lot of knowledge and definitely have a lot of research to do! I believe I am ready to abandon the stress relief and move into a business mindset.
That is a great idea!! I will take that route for sure that way I have plenty of time to perfect my skill and get a solid business plan made and all my ducks in a row!