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Need help on how to turn my hobby into a buisness.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
hello everyone! So i had a few questions about starting my own cake business legally but in all honesty i don't even know where to start! I've been cake decorating as a hobby only for friends and family for almost 2 years now. I don't want to open a business as in rent space or anything, i just want to do it out of my own kitchen. I never really thought about it but i have been getting cake orders from people other then family and friends now and i dont want to do anything illegal! icon_sad.gif I really have no idea where to begin to do any of this. I know making cakes out of your own kitchen is okay in my state(Massachusetts) but how do i go about getting licensed, and a tax ID and getting my kitchen expected ect.? i feel stupid that i don't know or understand how to do any of this which is kind of what is doubting me, and making me think i should just stick to friends and family...ANY help or tips or explanations would be great!! thank you so much! icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarxosugar143

hello everyone! So i had a few questions about starting my own cake business legally but in all honesty i don't even know where to start! I've been cake decorating as a hobby only for friends and family for almost 2 years now. I don't want to open a business as in rent space or anything, i just want to do it out of my own kitchen. I never really thought about it but i have been getting cake orders from people other then family and friends now and i dont want to do anything illegal! icon_sad.gif I really have no idea where to begin to do any of this. I know making cakes out of your own kitchen is okay in my state(Massachusetts) but how do i go about getting licensed, and a tax ID and getting my kitchen expected ect.? i feel stupid that i don't know or understand how to do any of this which is kind of what is doubting me, and making me think i should just stick to friends and family...ANY help or tips or explanations would be great!! thank you so much! icon_smile.gif



I also wanted to state that i only do one cake a weekend, if that lol...Because im not planning at all to do more then that, im only one person and i like to focus one week at a time on one cake. So is it worth spending all the money on permits and license and everything else if im not really planning to expand?!?
post #3 of 17
Hi there sugar,

I am in MA as well, and run a licensed residential kitchen out of my home. The first thing you need to do is contact your local health department, because not all towns/cities in MA allow residential kitchens. They can let you know and give you all the necessary paperwork regarding requirements and kitchen inspection procedures. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but if you persevere, it really is worth it!

Here is what I did:

First, I had to take a ServSafe (or equivalent course/exam) and become a Certified Food Safety Manager before applying for the residential kitchen license.

Next, I filed my residential kitchen license at the health department and had the inspection. The inspector can tell you everything they are looking for in advance.

After that, I went on the IRS website and got a Tax ID#. You can get it online in minutes. You have to declare earnings on your income tax, but you do not need to collect tax from your customers.

Next came the business license from town hall (Doing Business As).

After that, I opened a bank acct and got business insurance.

The rest is history. icon_lol.gif

HTH. You can find more info in this thread:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-719024.html [/url]
post #4 of 17
[quote="sugarxosugar143"]
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarxosugar143

hello everyone! So i had a few questions about starting my own cake business legally but in all honesty i don't even know where to start! I've been cake decorating as a hobby only for friends and family for almost 2 years now. I don't want to open a business as in rent space or anything, i just want to do it out of my own kitchen. I never really thought about it but i have been getting cake orders from people other then family and friends now and i dont want to do anything illegal! icon_sad.gif I really have no idea where to begin to do any of this. I know making cakes out of your own kitchen is okay in my state(Massachusetts) but how do i go about getting licensed, and a tax ID and getting my kitchen expected ect.? i feel stupid that i don't know or understand how to do any of this which is kind of what is doubting me, and making me think i should just stick to friends and family...ANY help or tips or explanations would be great!! thank you so much! icon_smile.gif



I also wanted to state that i only do one cake a weekend, if that lol...Because im not planning at all to do more then that, im only one person and i like to focus one week at a time on one cake. So is it worth spending all the money on permits and license and everything else if im not really planning to expand?!?[/quote]

I only do 1 cake a weekend, if that.

If you are selling even 1 cake, you need a license.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesprinkles

Hi there sugar,

I am in MA as well, and run a licensed residential kitchen out of my home. The first thing you need to do is contact your local health department, because not all towns/cities in MA allow residential kitchens. They can let you know and give you all the necessary paperwork regarding requirements and kitchen inspection procedures. There are a lot of hoops to jump through but if you persevere, it really is worth it!

Here is what I did:

First, I had to take a ServSafe (or equivalent course/exam) and become a Certified Food Safety Manager before applying for the residential kitchen license.

Next, I filed my residential kitchen license at the health department and had the inspection. The inspector can tell you everything they are looking for in advance.

After that, I went on the IRS website and got a Tax ID#. You can get it online in minutes. You have to declare earnings on your income tax, but you do not need to collect tax from your customers.

Next came the business license from town hall (Doing Business As).

After that, I opened a bank acct and got business insurance.

The rest is history. icon_lol.gif

HTH. You can find more info in this thread:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-719024.html [/url]




thank you so much for all the step by step details and info!!! very much appreciated!! icon_smile.gif Looks like i've got a lot a work ahead of me but im going to do it because i love baking and cake decorating and i dont want me not having the proper permits ect. to stop me!! icon_smile.gif thanks again!
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesprinkles



http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-719024.html [/url]



according to that thread a person who lives in Ma as well wrote:
I am from MA and in the process of getting certified. Contact your town's board of health for the paperwork. I know for certain you must have these basics:
-pets not present in cooking area
-a 3-bin sink or a dishwasher with a final cycle that heats up to 160 degrees (all utensils must be rinsed, soaked, and sanitized)
-counter surface that is easily cleaned
-a powder room on floor where cakes are made with either a window or a fan
-paper towels/soap dispenser in powder room
-dish and hand soap dispenser in kitchen with paper towels
-separate room for viewing cakes (customers must not go in baking area)
-no custards or perishable items can be sold...buttercream and non-refrigerated items only
-separate shelves for your personal cooking items and those items you use for baking
-screens on all windows/doors
-a self-closing front storm door
-bleach for kitchen sink
-all employees must reside in home where baking is done.

Since i am already unable to do alot of these things how would i go about renting time in a kitchen?? Ive heard from others you could rent kitchen time and space from restaurants and churches or whatever? is this true??
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarxosugar143

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesprinkles



http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-719024.html [/url]



according to that thread a person who lives in Ma as well wrote:
I am from MA and in the process of getting certified. Contact your town's board of health for the paperwork. I know for certain you must have these basics: <------Not necessarily. It depends on your town or city.

-pets not present in cooking area -Yes

-a 3-bin sink or a dishwasher with a final cycle that heats up to 160 degrees (all utensils must be rinsed, soaked, and sanitized) <---I have a double sink and a plastic washtub to sanitize. This was acceptable.

-counter surface that is easily cleaned-Yes.

-a powder room on floor where cakes are made with either a window or a fan <-----He didn't check.

-paper towels/soap dispenser in powder room <-----Had them. He didn't check.

-dish and hand soap dispenser in kitchen with paper towels-Yes!

-separate room for viewing cakes (customers must not go in baking area) <-----Huh? This is a new one to me. Her inspector must be very strict.

-no custards or perishable items can be sold...buttercream and non-refrigerated items only- Yes

-separate shelves for your personal cooking items and those items you use for baking- yes. He checked fridge but not cupboards.

-screens on all windows/doors - He checked screens on windows only.

-[b]-a self-closing front storm door
- Didn't check.

-bleach for kitchen sink- Yes, if you are sanitizing with a bleach/water solution. Otherwise, another type of sanitizer is acceptable.

-all employees must reside in home where baking is done.-Yes.

Since i am already unable to do alot of these things how would i go about renting time in a kitchen?? Ive heard from others you could rent kitchen time and space from restaurants and churches or whatever? is this true??



Don't get discouraged so easily! Remember how I said that every town is different? What that person above mentioned is a generalization and, while it may be the case with her town, it may not be true of yours. I bolded everything above that my health inspector did NOT require, and left italicized notes.

My health inspector (who has a reputation among area restaurants for being extremely strict) was most concerned about water and fridge temp, and asked to see sanitizing test strips and food service gloves. He made sure there were no medications in the food prep area and carefully checked in cupboards and baseboards for signs of pests. I also made sure that my kitchen was scrupulously clean. That's it.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesprinkles

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarxosugar143

Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovesprinkles



http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-719024.html [/url]



according to that thread a person who lives in Ma as well wrote:
I am from MA and in the process of getting certified. Contact your town's board of health for the paperwork. [b]I know for certain you [b]must have these basics: <------not necessarily

-pets not present in cooking area -yes

-a 3-bin sink or a dishwasher with a final cycle that heats up to 160 degrees (all utensils must be rinsed, soaked, and sanitized) <---I have a double sink and a plastic washtub to sanitize. This was acceptable.

-counter surface that is easily cleaned-yes

-a powder room on floor where cakes are made with either a window or a fan <-----He didn't check.

-paper towels/soap dispenser in powder room <-----Had them. He didn't check.

-dish and hand soap dispenser in kitchen with paper towels-yes

-separate room for viewing cakes (customers must not go in baking area) <-----Huh? This is a new one to me. Her inspector must be very strict.

-no custards or perishable items can be sold...buttercream and non-refrigerated items only- yes

-separate shelves for your personal cooking items and those items you use for baking- yes. He checked fridge but not cupboards.

-screens on all windows/doors - He checked screens on windows only[/b].

-[b]-a self-closing front storm door
- Didn't check.

-bleach for kitchen sink- yes

-all employees must reside in home where baking is done.-yes

Since i am already unable to do alot of these things how would i go about renting time in a kitchen?? Ive heard from others you could rent kitchen time and space from restaurants and churches or whatever? is this true??



Don't get discouraged so easily. What that person above mentioned is a generalization, and may not be true of your town. She has not yet gotten certified and inspected yet, and I already have gone through the inspection and everything. Remember how I said that every town is different? I bolded everything above that my health inspector did NOT require.

The health inspector was most concerned about water and fridge temp, and asked to see sanitizing test strips and food service gloves. He made sure there were no medications in the food prep area and carefully checked in cupboards and baseboards for signs of pests. That's it.



thank you! i guess ill just continue making cakes for friends and family and thats it. Mainly because i dont have the money saved right now to get a new sink or anything else that may need to be required for my kitchen to pass inspection. But hopefully in time because i would love to make my hobby into something more!! Thanks again!! icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 17
A bit of advice. Running a business is different then doing what you enjoy as a hobby. If you enjoy the business aspect of things, permits, advertising and all the other millions of operating aspects of a business than going from a hobby to a business owner is for you.

But, take a bit of time and try and understand that owning a business is quite different than enjoying your hobby. If you do not like the day to day operations of a business, and you do not have someone who you can trust with your life to do so, you may want to reconsider.

Many people get started and it is exciting but when they have to spend their time Not doing what their original hobby was and dealing with everything else, they get frustrated and quit.

I would recommend highly that you first read the book the E-myth prior to taking on the venture. That book was recommended to me and has helped me run my business so much more efficiently, but I wasted so many years and so much frustration could have been avoided had I read this book. Best of luck!!!

Debbie
Owner
Icing Images, LLC

Have you tried our new DECOgel?

Official Distributors of Spellbinders Sweet Accents for Icing Images the first full food safe die cutting and embossing system!
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Debbie
Owner
Icing Images, LLC

Have you tried our new DECOgel?

Official Distributors of Spellbinders Sweet Accents for Icing Images the first full food safe die cutting and embossing system!
Picture Cake Equipment, Supplies for Edible Printing,...




Reply
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Does anyone know if i could rent kitchen space from restaurants or churches or whatever? and if so, how would i go about doing that??
post #11 of 17
i to am in mass, every time i look on line to get get started i can't find the info I need??? Anyone else on the south shore??? I am in Pembroke, and can't find any local info!!! So frustrating!!! I want to do this SOOOO bad but don't want to do anything illegal! Does anyone know of a link????
If at first you don"t succeed.... patch it up with butter cream!!!
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If at first you don"t succeed.... patch it up with butter cream!!!
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by katboss

i to am in mass, every time i look on line to get get started i can't find the info I need??? Anyone else on the south shore??? I am in Pembroke, and can't find any local info!!! So frustrating!!! I want to do this SOOOO bad but don't want to do anything illegal! Does anyone know of a link????



I'm in the South Shore too and I can't find anything online or when I call the local town office. I managed to meet a woman who has a licensed home bakery at a cake supply store once and she was very helpful, much more so than anyone else I can find in the town. icon_confused.gif But even her advice was more words of caution than where to go for licensing information.
post #13 of 17
Contacting your town/city Board of Health is definitely a HUGE help. Before you even do that though, I'd check with the Zoning Board to see if you will run into any zoning problems with your home. I need a "Special Permit" to run any business from my home because of the residential zoning in which I'm located.

I was really lost as to where I was supposed to begin but I met with someone in Town Hall and she was a BIG help in laying out the steps. Since Residential Kitchens are mandated by your individual city/town, although many of our responses may be helpful, you will need to contact your town officials to know for sure. I haven't heard of anyone else having to go through the zoning stuff like I currently am and boy is it a headache.
post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
So afte a long time thinking about this and talking it over with the husband, ar decided that renting time out of a commercial kitchen would be our best way yo go... what's the step by step to start this? I know for sure we have to become servesafe and get tax id's but since I'm not doing it out of my home what else do I need? I'm assuming I still need a buisness license and insurance.....anything else?
post #15 of 17
In MA home-based food businesses are regulated by the state. Chapter four has your most important info http://www.mass.gov/agr/markets/specfood/food_processor_resource_manual.htm#chapter%204

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