For individuals who enjoy cooking or baking, starting a food business is a good way to turn a hobby into a career. If you’re planning on doing this from home, you reduce the hassle of having to find commercial space and everything that it entails. But, like other home-based businesses, you need to acquire licenses, permits, and the right equipment.
What You Need for a Home-Based Food Business
Prepare for this exciting endeavor by making a checklist of what you need to accomplish. In addition to paperwork and equipment, put down your cost estimates. Keep yourself organized and focused on the task at hand with this guide.
Licenses and Permits
Contact your local zoning board to check if you are allowed to run a business from your home. Identify the type of business licenses and permits you must obtain. Ask how to apply for a resale license, so you can purchase ingredients in bulk tax-free.
In addition to these, you have to get a health and sanitation certificate for your cooking facility. You have to make sure the kitchen and all its tools and equipment are used solely for your business. In some states, they require the entrepreneur to attend and complete food handling courses.
Tools and Equipment
Purchase your kitchen tools and equipment from the same companies that supply them to professional and commercial kitchens.
- Elakeside is known for providing high-quality equipment to the food and beverage industry, including action stations, storage and transport, and hydration.
- Le Creuset has been making cookware since the 1920s. Known for attractive and durable designs, their pots and pans are ideal for large quantity cooking.
- The vessel you use for your food is just as important as the taste of the dish. Choose packaging that will keep the food warm and sealed until it reaches the customer.
- If you live in the suburbs or a rural area, consider contacting local farmers to supply you with produce directly. Buying your ingredients from them not only lowers your purchase cost but may also land you special deals that allow you to save money in the long run.
Contact your state’s Department of Public Health to ask if there are any labeling laws for food businesses. If there are, create ingredient labels and print them out on sticker paper to attach to your packaging.
As a new business, you need all the buzz you can get before you officially open. Create a social media page for your business to make it visible and searchable online. Use this to introduce your menu and to show potential customers what the food looks like. Additionally, post your business hours, order process, payment methods, and delivery options.
Tap your family and friends for help. Send them a tasting menu, so they can write reviews and post it on their social media accounts. Ask them to tag your official social media account, so people who read their posts can go to your page after.
Starting a business from home can be a challenge, but finding success in it is fulfilling. Keep these tips in mind when you’re ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship.