Texas - New Info On Starting A Home Business

Business By twinsmake5 Updated 15 Oct 2008 , 8:29am by southaustingirl

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twinsmake5 Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 7:57pm
post #1 of 10

I got this message for a friend who has a friend who caters from her home garage which she converted with an inspectors help. Can anyone tell me if this is true?

Apply for a DBA at the courthouse.

Call the Travis County Health Dept. so they can send an inspector to my house to tell me what I need to do.

She says since I'm only baking I won't need a grease trap or vent hood. All I need are ovens and a hand sink that is separate from the kitchen sink. She thinks the home ovens are ok.

Says I need an automatic door that closes on it's own for a bathroom close to the kitchen.

I must keep all the cleaning supplies away from the food.

It this is true - and I'm not getting my hopes up - then all I'd need is the self-closing door on the hall bath. I have a sink on the island and double ovens.

Is there any inkling to truth here? Please say it's so!

9 replies
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twinsmake5 Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 10

sorry, sorry, sorry

Called them myself and there is no inkling of truth. It must be an unoccupied building. Why did I let myself get excited? Sounded good, didn't it? Automatic bathroom door - ha! Dang it - I will not let myself get in the dumps over this again. So sorry if I got anyone else a little excited only to be dumped. Should have thought it through/made the call before I posted.

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Nyma Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 8:48pm
post #3 of 10

No worries!!... you got ME a bit excited but was watching for responses before celebration. I will time will come... hopefully sooner than later or we move to another State LOL!!

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Mike1394 Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 9:15pm
post #4 of 10

You do realize an automatic door closer is roughly 15 bucks at H Depot, and seven screws to install.


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Claricakes Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 9:22pm
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with very low cost start up you can have a very nice bakery..... the inpsector in my area said you just need a space with no living quarters..... use regular home appliances, you need a 3 compartment sink, 1 handwashing sink, a bathroom with just toilet, small sink and trashcan no special door needed. Any type of flooring can be used except for carpet. Bakeries can be out of a mobile home, barn/shed, detached garage, temporary portable buildings, must have electrical and plumbing up to date.
My hubby says you can built a 800 sq ft woodframe space on blocks to look like a cottage building for like 3-4,000 depending on what kind of material you use. Like 400 on used appliances. the possiblities are limited.... don;t let your dream down be positive.... instead of a vaction build your bakery....your family will understand when you can make 2X the $$$$. Besides it a write off and you can still limit how many cakes/business you want to take in. I have put soo much thought and researched this topic hopefully my plan will come in to place at the beginning of the year. Once I get Licensed I will rent out my space for subsituted income ; )

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twinsmake5 Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 10:13pm
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I really appreciate the thought! We live in an HOA that would never permit a separate building. My best hope is to remodel the garage. There is a decent sized upstairs space. I could finish it off but I can only imagine the inspectors would nix it due to fumes from the cars parked downstairs. Before I even begin to think more about this, I will call the health department again!

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CakeForte Posted 14 Oct 2008 , 11:17pm
post #7 of 10

A DBA is cheap and only takes a few minutes to get one. You have to have it notarized before you turn it in to the county clerks office.

This is the rule for home businesses:

"Private homes and living or sleeping quarters, use prohibition. A private
home, a room used as living or sleeping quarters, or an area directly opening into a room used as living or sleeping quarters may not be used for conducting food establishment operations."


Everything is based on these rules, but you also have to check with your county because they might have additional rules besides what is listed here. This guide is the MINIMUM requirements for all of Texas.

I am not in Travis County/ City of Austin, but check their website. They have a specific packet as well. That is what you need to follow.

Someone telling you on the phone will just have you running in circles.

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sweetcakes Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:29am
post #8 of 10

get a copy of the Texas Food Establishment Regulations, someone already posted the link. It is possible. My garage is attached to my home. i converted half of it to a commercial kitchen nearly 2 yrs ago now. it has a hand sink, & 3 comp sink, washable walls, commercial tile on the floor. a window ac unit. I have a double wall oven and commercial fridge and freezers. When the inspector comes he comes in through my front door and i walk him through my house, sometimes its not all that clean, as i never know when he's going to show up. and we go out to the kitchen. Let me know if you need other questions answered.

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baycheeks1 Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 2:44am
post #9 of 10

Claricakes, I need to know the inspector you talked to so I can get him on my side. I live in Brazoria too...so I need a lil info on that!

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southaustingirl Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 8:29am
post #10 of 10

I have also thought about building a small 'shed' in the back yard and using that as my kitchen.........with all the required elements, of course. We don't have an HOA to worry about so that is good. BUt hubby also wants to build a 'shed' for himself so I doubt we could have 2 (we wouldn't have the room) and there is no way we would convert the garage into a kitchen. We have toooo much crap to store!!

If you live in Travis County, go to the county clerk's office on Airport Rd in Austin and register your business name....I think it costs $18.00. The clerk is a notary so you don't have to go and find one.

I also found a commerical kitchen, The Kitchen Space, on Cedar Ave (off of east 12th street) with very reasonable rates. They also sponsored a class on how to start a food/baking business last week. They might be hosting another.......contact them. The information they gave was very helpful.

We were told that you have to take a Food Manager's class and get certified ($150, I think) and every employee must take the Food Handler's class, which is around $20-$30 each employee. Then your food permit is around $310.00, which must be renewed every year. If your kitchen in outside the city limits of Austin but still in Travis county, add another $150 to your permit fee.

For me, going the route of renting a space seems more doable.

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