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Vendor shows...should I do one even though I'm not licensed?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have recently been invited to "advertise" my business at a local vendor show. I work out of my home and am not licensed by the state. I am new at decorating and am wanting to get more business, but worry that doing a vendor show will invite problems with health inspectors, etc. Any advice from those of you who have an established business and work out of your home? Thanks for your input. icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 24
Check your state laws.
If you don't have to be licensed to sell food items from your home. Check into cottage food laws and see if you can work with that.
I would be more worried about the IRS!
post #3 of 24
Just my opinion: If you are required to advertise and must have a license to do that......you are taking a really bad chance of getting caught illegally. And the fines and problems that might bring would be more than what you would make that day........again, just my opinion. icon_smile.gif

Check the thread on what the rules are for each state....and best wishes. icon_smile.gif
post #4 of 24
BE CAREFUL!!!!!! If you have licensed decorators in the vendor show, they could turn you in. You never know who is going to be the person to turn you in.
post #5 of 24
though tempting,i wouldnt. texas is very strict with it.
post #6 of 24
I wouldn't do it.

It's a pretty competitive business we're in and you can bet if any other decorators found out you weren't legal they'd turn you in so fast your head would spin.
post #7 of 24
Risky. Looks like you're in California and I'm thinking the California folks are saying you have to be lisenced.
Personally, I don't have any problem with someone who isn't lisenced doing cakes for friends and family and getting paid for it. As a friend or family, your trust comes from your relationship and knowledge of the person being concientious and sanitary.
But just recently someone locally started advertising. She has a kind of gift store and is now advertising she does "specialty" cakes. I am pretty sure she is not lisenced. I'm spending about 10K getting a place set up to meet health codes and it bugs me that someone might be selling out of a retail store without a lisence. I've thought about "turning her in", but I don't really want her to get in trouble, I just want her to get lisenced or stop. I probably won't do anything. I figure I'm going to make it or break on my own flaws and merits.
Hillary Rodham Clinton for Prez--You go girl!
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Hillary Rodham Clinton for Prez--You go girl!
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post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all of you for your advice. Looks like I'll be sitting this vendor show out. icon_cry.gif
post #9 of 24
If you are in Frisco TX, I would say a big NO.... only because it is illegal. And no offense, but I'm in TX and just went though the whole ordeal and spending $$$$ to get legal and if I found out you were at a show, I would turn you in. Just because of the simple fact that I went through the trouble of getting my customers legally.
post #10 of 24
I rest my case....there's always someone more than willing to cause you all kinds of trouble.

Not everyone has the means to become legal. Personally, I think the fact that in one state I can bake to my heart's content yet in another I have to go to ridiculous lengths just to be able to sell 1 or 2 cakes a week is ridiculous.

When I finally get legal myself, I won't begrudge anyone else who hasn't been able to make the leap yet.
post #11 of 24
Hi there, I am in PA and have been licensed since the end of January this year. I waited a long time to be able to do this. There are a BUNCH of people in and around my area that are doing cakes and baked goods that are NOT licensed and you have to be to do it legally in this state! (Some of them even have animals in their home running around!) My husband thinks that I should report them too but I just can't bring myself to do it. I also attended a cake class in which the decorator said she definitely would report anyone that she knew was not licensed in her area because she felt they were taking business away from her. I look at it like this...when I advertise, I STRESS that I am licensed. People around here know by now that my cakes are good and look nice. I feel that I can get enough business (like someone else said) on my Own merits and don't need to be the bad guy to do it. Thanks for reading my thoughts!
post #12 of 24
some people in my state got turned in by a legal person by being at vendor's shows. I wouldn't take the risk.
post #13 of 24
I agree with everyone else-It willl be your competition to report you. Its just how it is. How hard is it to get licensed where you are?
Here in PA, it isnt that hard at all. You should make a call to your local dept. of Ag and go for it. Then you can do the show with confidence knowing you are legal!!!
Proud mommy to my three girls...
Julianna-7
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Proud mommy to my three girls...
Julianna-7
Isabella-5
Emmaleea-4
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post #14 of 24
I'm with you Cake Lady. I don't plan on turning anyone in. I still don't think it's a deal to do cakes for your family/friends and get something in return. I know how it feels from both directions. We've had to hire a commercially lisenced plumber to do the plumbing for our cake shop even though my husband is fully capable of doing the work. He's done the plumbing in every house we've built/remodelled (five of them). But because this is commercial he can't even put on the faucets or set the toilet. It's not even so much having to pay him the money--it's that we've been on hold for six weeks now and counting for him to get over here and do his thing. icon_confused.gif
I kind of feel like there should be a law for part timers. You know, if you make under fifty cakes a year. Something like that.
Hillary Rodham Clinton for Prez--You go girl!
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Hillary Rodham Clinton for Prez--You go girl!
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post #15 of 24
I'm in the same boat vickster.

My husband has been in the bakery business for 30 years. He knows inside out what we need and what needs to be done, but our laws also require licensed people to do all the work.

Some of the rules are utterly ridiculous such as a separate bathroom when I have one within 10 feet of what will be my licensed kitchen and I'm the only person who is going to be baking there with no customers on site, ever. And just how many sinks is it that I really need? One triple sink, one hand washing sink, a sink in the bathroom, a mop sink...sinks, sinks, sinks!!!!

It took an act of congress to get to bypass the requirement for a commercial vent-a-hood (translation-thousands of $$$'s) when I won't even be frying anything. I'm not even going to have a stove, just an oven. Where the heck would a vent-a-hood go????

But I'm blessed that my husband indulges me and we can afford to do all this for what is not really a huge money making venture. Not everyone is so lucky and I'm not about to go after them.

Personally, I think it shows a lack of confidence in your own work when you feel the need to try and run other people out of business.
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