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selling cakes from home kitchen in the uk legally?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Im thinking about selling cakes (mainly cupcakes) from my home kitchen in the uk. Atm i am only making cakes for family and friends.

I was thinking about posting leaflets door to door to see if i can gain enough interest before i take this any further.. im on mat leave and would like a way to spend more time with my daughter. If i gain enough interest,and decide to take this to the next level, i would consider possibly giving up my job in a call center to do this full time.

my questions are, can u just send out a leaflet and sell cakes to test this without legal requirements first of all?

and, whats the requirements for selling cakes out of a home kitchen? i also have a dog and would like to know where i stand with this also.
post #2 of 5
Hi Sugar Rush, the first thing you need to do is contact your local environmental health officer and register with them. Every area is different, some simply require you to register your details with them as cakes are considered low risk, many will want to do an inspection, and there may be some small changes you need to make to your home kitchen or way of working before you can begin. You need to register 28 days before you start trading. You will need to do a basic food hygiene certificate, you can do this at a local college, or many places now offer online courses for £20-30, it only takes a couple of hours. The only other thing you must do is to register with the inland revenue as self employed, even if it's only going to be part time in addition to your main job.
You may wish to consider insurance in case of damage to equipment, loss of earnings etc, although this isn't a legal requirement. You will need to check with your home insurance provider that running a business from home won't void that insurance. If you plan on offering a delivery service you will need to add business use to your car insurance, and if you plan on selling at markets, fairs etc you will need public liablity insurance.
Hope this helps, good luck with your venture and my biggest piece of advice would be to properly work out ALL of your costs BEFORE you begin, and don't forget to include a realistic amount for your time. If you are on facebook, check out the cake forum - a friendly group of uk bakers who are all happy to help each other.
post #3 of 5
If you are selling, whoever it is to, you need to be legal. Saying that the process in the UK seems much easier than in the US. There are several requirements - first you should check with the planning department of your local council as to whether they will allow this use of your home. This is mostly based on how much traffic would be coming to a residential house i think. Next you need to complete a Food Hygiene course (mine was a one day course, and i got funding from ILA Scotland to do it). Lastly, you will need to be assessed and passed by the enviromental department - this is to do with, storage of ingredients and products, ie fridge temp, general cleanliness, you need two sinks (but dishwasher counts as 1), checking you have hygiene certificate etc. Re pets, as long as they are not fed or present in kitchen whilst you're caking you're fine ( i have a cat and a dog, they just stay out of the house whilst i'm working). BUT this is not all there is to setting up a business, you must also register your company, and be on top of all the tax aspects.
Having said all that, once it's all done you're ready to roll! Good luck, any questions feel free to get in touch!! xx
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
thanx very much! made some phone calls and going to make changes to my kitchen tomorrow to meet the h&s requirements! icon_smile.gif
post #5 of 5
The laws are easier in the UK than USA. Our local borough asks you to register with them if you are going to make money selling your baked cakes. It costs nothing to register. Once registered they might send out an inspector to look at your kitchens - but in reality because they are short of inspectors - the cake decorators are in the main left to themselves and they send the inspectors to look at cafes and more 'at risk' locations where raw foods should not be mixed with other foods etc. I would recommend a short chat with a chartered accountant (many will offer a free of charge half hour consultation) - to be certain that you would be setting up your business correctly - and have them also compile your tax return at the end of one year of trading. This way you can also ask how to set up your paperwork - in a way to suit that accountant. If you are already on payroll working elsewhere your accountant will advise what is the best way to move forward with registration for self employment in addition to having another job. Check out how to price your creations properly though - and include any overheads that are a requirement like insurance and equipment purchasing etc. As a mum on maternity leave you are in a great place to have a lot of verbal contact with other mums who have maybe older children. Asking around if people were interested in your service and showing some pictures of cakes made already for family and friends will cost nothing in printing and word of mouth is the cheapest form of marketing. Make sure you have a little album of creations on you and ask people if they personally know anyone with a cellebration coming up. (Better to ask for a third person than asking them if they have!!) This way you have an easy option to find some potential customers for your up and coming business. Mother and baby groups as well as nursery school playgrounds. You only have to be friendly and ask around of the people in your circle and it saves pounds on printing and posting through doors. Good luck.
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