What approval and certificates do I need to start a catering business from home?

I want to start a small catering business from my home. Does anyone please know how I go about getting permission and who from? Does it depend on the type of food I will be doing as to what certificates I will need?

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5 Responses to “What approval and certificates do I need to start a catering business from home?”

  1. Cornish Granny said:

    If you are in the UK you need to contact your local Environmental Health Dept at the Council, they will come and inspect your kitchen. You will need an up to date Health & Safety certificate and a knowledge of all the laws appertaining to catering ( there are loads). You will also need Public Liability Insurance in case you poison anyone and Trading Standards will be informed also. This is your first step.

  2. Druantia said:

    If you are in the US, you will also need to contact your local health department. Unfortunately, in most states, catering from the home is not allowed. In California, for instance, they will not allow even baking from home for profit. They do this to ensure the cleanliness of the environment. If you are serving food for human (or animal for that matter) consumption, there is certain criteria and safety standards you must follow. Safety in food handling certifications may also be required.

    Depending on where you live, there may also be large commercial kitchens which rent by the hour or month. They have already been inspected by the health department and deemed “safe”. Although, in order to rent an area out, you will still need a safety in food handling certificate.

    Another way to go, if your state does not allow home-based catering, is a local restaurant. If you have an independently owned breakfast/lunch cafe nearby, you can always ask them to rent out their kitchen in the off hours (usually between 4pm and 3am).

    Additionally, you will need a business license, a resale license (for purchasing food from wholesalers), and liability insurance. It does not matter what kind of food you will be serving, the same food handling and safety certifications will be required.

  3. Jeff_OfficeLiveCares said:

    Your biggest obstacles will be with getting permits/licenses as a few others have eluded to. The first place to look would be the website of the Secretary of the State for your state.

    This article gives some useful tips to help get you headed in the right direction: http://ask.officelive.com/smallbusiness/wiki/articles/starting-a-business-you-need-a-license.aspx

    Be sure to check out Office Live Small Business while you are there!

    Jeff
    MSFT Office Live Outreach

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