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Question for those who bake and sell from home - Page 2

post #16 of 223
One last thing (then I'm done)... To spin off of what Mike said, if you decide to do it as a business, keep in mind that it is a business. There's the whole "business management" thing that goes along with all the baking and decorating. There's accounting and bookkeeping, taxes, insurance, licenses, inventories, marketing, and all of the other analyses that need to be done to be successful and keep it going.


This is what I do not have time to do....I barely have time to get the cakes done. Like I said before, I work 40 hrs a week as an architectural designer, have 3 kids, one of which is 9 weeks old, have commitments to the church and school where my oldest goes. I really dont want to start a full blown business, but i would like to keep doing cakes because it is fun and I like to do it. Are you all telling me it is all or nothing?

Also, I live in a small rural town in Alabama. I have a friend who does cakes and also works for a caterer who is her Aunt in Birmningham so I have emailed her to inquire about being licensed...surely she can help!
post #17 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by kweenofengland

ok, well since everyone is so offended by this, please help me and tell me where to find information for starting a business. How do I find out about our laws? I am actually regretting even responding to this original question! lol!



I dont think anyone is offended..I think we are trying to show the honest truith about it all and to help you avoid getting in trouble. The law doesn't go "Oh, Ok!" if you say you didnt know. We don't want you to feel we were ganging up on you...
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #18 of 223
thanks KelleyM, but if I have to have a seperate kitchen, then baking cakes is over for me. there is no way to have another kitchen for something i do everyonce in a while mostly for family. I think that is insane. Now I could see it for someone who is running a business full time and this is their sole source of income. I guess I will just do cakes for free! Is that legal?
post #19 of 223
Yes that is more than legal.. you can give a cake to anyone you want. And I highly doubt your family will turn you in.. unless you have some seriously bad blood. I am not speaking against making a cake for your sister and having her give you something for it. It's when you start to branch out into the general public. THAT is where the problem lies. That is where you run the risk.
post #20 of 223
Kween I'm certainly not offended. I just hope you don't get caught. let me tell you though, you are running a biz. Once you sold one cake you now have a cake business. Whether, or not you decide to continue that is totally up to you.

The risk for any non legal is the risk of being sued. It doesn't matter what the reason is. You very well could lose your house. That is just fact. It's not directed at anyone.

Mike
post #21 of 223
I agree with jkalman, lorriemoms, mike, and tcarra, we are not trying to scare you and I'm certainly not offended at all.

The bottom line is...........laws are in place to protect ALL of us. When we go out to eat at a restaurant, we would hope that restaurant is doing business legally.....and that all of their licenses are up to date.

I'm a hairstylist and own my own Salon......I have to be licensed by the State Board of Health for that also as does my Salon and all of my employees. Honestly, I love everything about my profession, except the BOOKWORK icon_cry.gif and TAXES icon_cry.gif , but you can't have one without the other.
I know of people that cut hair out of their house, accept payment for it, and are not licensed. This really burns me up, same as people selling cakes illegally. The people that choose to not abide by the laws, make it harder for those people that do abide by them, by undercutting our prices. We have to pay to be licensed and insured and we pay the IRS, than we can pay ourselves. Why should some not have to pay as we do?

Nobody is telling you that you can't bake out of your house.........we're just telling you that the minute you accept one penny for that baked good, you've broken the law. Even if it's to just cover the cost of ingredients.

Also, when your licensed and legal, you have insurance on your business, this is why you would be protected if someone did get sick from one of your products. You can't have insurance on your baking business if your not licensed.......that's when you put your house and all of your assets at risk.
post #22 of 223
I have a question on this. I do cakes for fun...nothing more. However, fun costs money icon_wink.gif Does anyone know if you make a cake and be reimbursed for the cost of materials, i.e. flour and sugar NOT pans and electricity (I'm talking a few bucks)? I have friends who have asked me to do this recenty and I've been hesitant to do so. I've ended up just giving the cakes for free...but I can't continue paying for everyone's cake. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
post #23 of 223
No.. you can't. You cannot recieve any money (or services) of any kind for your baking or it is considered a business transaction.
post #24 of 223
thank you forthwife for stepping up! But you just stepped into the big hole i stepped into this morning! basically you cant do anything (apparently) that is to compete against anyone else. it is a very touchy subject. I am doing a cake for my best friends daughter for this weekend and I told her about this whole conversation and she said there was no way that she would let me do the cake for free. Now I am just waiting for someone to turn me in I guess. She said she was giving me a donation then for the cake, but as I understand I cant accept that either. so I am thinking that maybe you can have the person buy all of your materials and you just put them together for them? surely that isnt illegal...but I have been waaaay wrong today! good luck!
post #25 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by kweenofengland

thank you forthwife for stepping up! But you just stepped into the big hole i stepped into this morning! basically you cant do anything (apparently) that is to compete against anyone else. it is a very touchy subject. I am doing a cake for my best friends daughter for this weekend and I told her about this whole conversation and she said there was no way that she would let me do the cake for free. Now I am just waiting for someone to turn me in I guess. She said she was giving me a donation then for the cake, but as I understand I cant accept that either. so I am thinking that maybe you can have the person buy all of your materials and you just put them together for them? surely that isnt illegal...but I have been waaaay wrong today! good luck!



It appears that your upset about this. There is no reason to get upset at anyone here, this is just fact of the law. Most states are worried about cross contamination with other foods. As an example if someone cooks a fish, and then a makes a cake without cleaning well enough there is a chance. Now this isn't saying you do this. Frankly it's no nevermind to me. These are just the facts. It's up to you whether, or not you take the chance.

Mike
post #26 of 223
I would talk to your individual state governing board (Dept. of Ag, Dept. of Health, etc.). I was told you can accept any amount of money for your cakes as long as you are not advertising you are not running a business. I have decided not to take money for my cakes at this time but I was told I can without being licensed, at least here in NC.
post #27 of 223
yea...apparently this site has only turned into the 'professional bakers' site and no one starts in their home anymore. so yea...I am illegal and I do it in my home and I have been for the last year and a half and no one has turned me in! so what! I sell to my friends and family because they feel that should pay me for my time. there's my rant for the day icon_razz.gif

but giving cake out for free is not going to get you customers...only because they got it for free and that's what they'll be expecting down the road. I've tried it and it didn't work.

I think the thing that IS helpful is calling your local gov't health dept and see what the regulations are. don't be scared to talk to them if you find out info and decide you can't get legal. just start doing stuff by word of mouth. people will be glad they met you!

good luck! icon_smile.gif
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #28 of 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by kweenofengland

thank you forthwife for stepping up! But you just stepped into the big hole i stepped into this morning! basically you cant do anything (apparently) that is to compete against anyone else. it is a very touchy subject. I am doing a cake for my best friends daughter for this weekend and I told her about this whole conversation and she said there was no way that she would let me do the cake for free. Now I am just waiting for someone to turn me in I guess. She said she was giving me a donation then for the cake, but as I understand I cant accept that either. so I am thinking that maybe you can have the person buy all of your materials and you just put them together for them? surely that isnt illegal...but I have been waaaay wrong today! good luck!



yep! that's illegal too! basically any exchange of goods or money for the service out of your home is not legit...but seriously..just call your health dept and see...you never know the info you will find out unless you get off of this site
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #29 of 223
I started doing cakes at home and felt so freaked out about it. I eventually opened a shop but different states have different rules and some let you do it from home. My state is funny (FL) they will let you do it from home with certain stipulations, like ya have to have a separate enterance and long story short have things in your kitchen that you would need for a commercial type bakery. If I had a three car garage (because my husband hogs the two-car with his tools) I would use that space for only cakes and build a wall and have a door that leads to the outside. Then I could set it up with a skin, small under the sink grease trap and everything else I need. However, no such luck and I have not been able to do it that way. I know friends who have been doing it forever at home. We all have a tendancy to "be legal" but it's not always a reality for us all. I have sold my shop so I'm back to square one. Don't fret, I've only heard of one person who turned people in and it was just so wrong. There is only so many cakes one person can possibly do anyway so why they should intervene is really beyond me. Do your thing honey!
Diet later...eat more cake!
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Diet later...eat more cake!
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post #30 of 223
It does suck when you learn the cold hard truth. Damn that uncle sam and the health deaprtment for wanting to regulate things so that things are done in a safe manner. (please read that with some sarcasm and some truth)

Now.. I will probably get flack for it, but I see nothing wrong with having your family and friends compensate you for your ingredients and time. Your family and friends aren't going to turn you in the the health department if they get an upset stomach from your cake. It's the general public thatyou need to be worried about. So if making cakes for your friends and family is what you do then do that and yes have them give you a little sumthin'-sumthin' for your efforts. Just stay away from selling cakes to strangers. I see it as an un-necessary risk..

No one here would ever turn someone in.. at least I would hope not. This isn't professional cake baker central, but when you ask a question (especially in tru business forum) expect people to answer turthfully. The only thing I want to accomplish by my posting is to get the facts out there.. what you do with those facts, of course, is up to you entirely. icon_smile.gif
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