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Should you charge family members?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

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?

post #2 of 24
From 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.
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

Oh I see, thanks for your reply!
 

post #4 of 24

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #5 of 24
The 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.
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


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

post #7 of 24

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

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #8 of 24

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).

Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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Debbie - US Army (Retired) --aka "The Cake Sarge"

Good Cake Ain't Cheap! Cheap Cake Ain't Good!
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 

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

post #10 of 24

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.

--Lynette

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--Lynette

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post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodriguez-km View Post

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.

post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thank you all  for your replies!

post #13 of 24

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. 

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok View Post

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.
post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

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.... icon_biggrin.gif
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