A growing trend in the food industry is having a food business based…at your home. In fact, there are even special laws, called cottage laws, that regulate these types of activities. If you are interested in preparing and selling food from home, there are a few things you need to know before you get started. The following are five things to consider BEFORE you begin.
- Know both the state and local regulations of your area: As with everything else, you need to comply with the laws in your area. Some states require inspections at your home. Some have laws forbidding pets in any home that is being used as a food business. Most all states require licensing and some limits on where the food can be sold and how much you can make annually. Know what your state and local regulations are in advance so you don’t run into trouble later.
- Know the market: Your could make the tastiest cake in the world, but if people aren’t interested in eating desserts, your business is not going to take off. Do some research and make sure that there is a demand for your food. Conduct surveys and maybe give away free samples and find out whether people would be willing to buy your food.
- Protect Your Personal and Business Assets: One of the best ways to protect yourself is to have cottage food law insurance, which can help save you a lot of money in case of an accident or a business disaster and give you peace of mind as you go about your work.
- Talk to and learn from people who have been or are in the business: There are a lot of great resources out there to help you succeed as you work to sell your home-based food. Forrager, a cottage food community, is full of information that can help you with your goals. It also has a forum where you can talk to people and ask them questions about what they did that worked.
- Be a professional: Even though you are working from home and don’t have to clock in at a corporation somewhere, it is still a good idea to have a professional mindset while you work in your kitchen. This also goes with all aspects of your career that you don’t have direct knowledge of. Have a professional design your logo or website or do your taxes if you don’t have that expertise. It’s also a good idea to separate personal and business assets (including trademarks) as well as checking accounts.
Are you running a home-based food business and have other tips you’d like to share? Want to share your success story about selling food from home? Please comment below.
BY LYNDSEY LARSEN
Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager for FLIP and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.
Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications and nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.