How to get a permit to sell food from home

Posted by Damian Roberti on

If you enjoy cooking and your friends look forward to being asked over for a meal, starting a home cooking business could be the perfect way to turn your passion into a business. You'll need plenty of space for cooking equipment, packaging materials, a way to distribute your home-cooked meals, and the necessary permits. Obtaining proper licensing is the most critical stage.

So How to get a Permit to sell food from home?
For specific criteria in your area, check with your state, city, and county. You can also get help from your local Small Business Development Center.

Permits and Licenses for Businesses

Your state, as well as the city and county where you live, may require a business license. Find out how to receive the applications and what the fees are by visiting the government websites for your state, county, and city (see Resources for a list of state websites).

Registration of a company

The secretary of state's office in many states requires that the business name and type – sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation – be registered.

License for Sales Privilege

Companies that sell items at retail are granted a sales privilege license. Your business must collect the state's sales tax in addition to the price of the items and remit it to the government. Some towns and counties demand their own sales privilege license, while others just require an additional percentage of sales to be collected and remitted to their office, but do not issue their own license.

Food Handler's Permit

A food and safety certificate is another name for this authorization. This may necessitate a test of your food handling and storage expertise. Not only will you need a food handler's license, but everybody who aids you in the kitchen will also need one.

If necessary, obtain a catering license.

You may need a catering license if you prepare the meal and transport it rather than preparing it in the client's kitchen as a personal chef does.

Inspection of the Kitchen's Health and Safety

A health and safety inspection and certification, which is a form of license, will be required of your kitchen. You could face sanctions from the state or county if you prepare food in an uncertified kitchen. If your kitchen fails the inspection but you still want to run a food company from home, try cooking the food in a certified kitchen during the evenings and weekends. A restaurant that only serves breakfast and lunch, for example, could be willing to rent you its kitchen during the late afternoon and nighttime hours.

Permits and Zoning Regulations

Check your city's zoning rules to discover if you can run a business from your home. Permits may be required if individuals come to your house to pick up food. It would be essential to obtain a zoning variance.

Rules of the Homeowners' Association

If you live in a townhouse or condo, check the rules and regulations of the homeowner's association. It's possible that running a business out of your house won't be allowed.