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steps and costs to starting a legal home cake business?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Could someone please tell me who I need to contact in order to legitimize a home based cakes for sale business? What kind of license do I need and where do I obtain it? How and who do I call to set up an inspection? cost? What are the typical initial costs and renewal license costs? I live in Rock County, WI. Any information would be helpful. Thank you!
post #2 of 4
Your local health department would be a good place to start.

I'm not trying to be snarky at all but you could also try google. "Cottage Food law Rock County WI"

I just did and the first result links you to a site which also suggests: the health dept and department of agriculture.
post #3 of 4
Hi Maria,

First of all, your cakes are really pretty icon_smile.gif I was in the same position you are now 1 year ago. The following is a list of things that I did. However, before I did this I took a job with a very well known pastry chef in Boston, later I worked at a cake shop, worked at the baking dpt of a grocery store, got my hands on everything that I could possibly learn before taking on the following:

1. I made sure the town where I live in will allow me to convert a garage into a cake studio. At 1st they said that I could not, but I was able to get them to buy into my idea. Sometimes you need to be persistent, I was extremely persisten and driven to get this done.

2. Met with the heath inspector in my town and got all the specifics as to what he required.

3. Order the material study and passed the serve safe certification.

4. Got 3 different bigs for every single thing that needed to be completed in my cake studio and by that I am the plumming, electrical, water and sewer, spoke and negotiated the gas line with my gas company and the electrical. P

5. Started looking for equipment on craigslist and everything else in between. When buying the oven ... there is a $1000 rebate if you purchase an energy efficient "let me know when you get to this point, I can help"

6. Bought both liability and produt insurance.

7. Got a tax id, got a business license.

8. Wrote a business plan, did A LOT of research on marketing and cost accounting. I do have a business degree with a concentration on finance and accounting and this came in handy. I can help you here too when you are ready for this.

9. Started a facebook page "Sweet Tales Cake Boutique"

Note: there is a lot more, but dont want to get discourage, just take one thing and one issue at a time. You will find a lot of people telling you it cant be done or is a lot of work, but if you have a dream ... you have to wake up from it and make it happen. Good luck to you, let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!.

Elizabeth Houde
post #4 of 4
Maria, I looked at your county's website and truthfully it sucks, LOL. I would give them a call. You need to check with a couple departments there. You need to speak with planning & zoning and also the business license department. With the state, check with the HD. In your own neighborhood, if you have an HOA, refer to their covenants and restrictions to see whether or not they will permit a home business.
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