Selling Homemade Food?

I have noticed the number of growing international community members in my neighborhood, since I live in a city with big universities. I want to prepare meals and sell them, since students don't usually cook and always end buying from shops. I could put up fliers and ads on Craigslist to get the word out, but I need to know if I am allowed to just make a meal in my apartment and sell it straight up. Any regulatory/compliance and tax issues I need to take care of? And how do I do so? Who do I contact to help me get started? Thanks!


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Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
August 30, 20150 found this helpful

Selling food legally is very difficult to start as you must first apply for licences from the city, have kitchen inspections, follow many requirements for selling food, etc. The best first step is to find an attorney who handles food selling and discuss what you need to do as there are many steps to complete. An attorney is expensive, however, starting with the legal requirements will save legal and possibly criminal problems down the road.

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful

Actually, I think in my area you just need to take a class to get a certificate, and then there are rules you have to follow about what you can and can't sell. However, in your city, those rules will be different. You need to talk to someone in the city offices where you live. Ask what you need to get started.

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 969 Posts
August 31, 20150 found this helpful

They are all right. However, if you find a local school or church to let you rent their certified kitchen, you can circumvent having a kitchen of your own. Good luck!!

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August 31, 20150 found this helpful

Google will probably provide a few basic pieces of information, Rahul. Laws vary between regions / states / counties, but the start-up costs are not inconsiderable. Like any food outlet, you'll want a business license, health inspection certificate and liability insurance. (I'm considering the same kind of service for busy professionals and have done some research, too.)


Look into incorporating (which you can do yourself) to limit your liability (again, depending on the laws which govern your state or povince)? If someone sues you, blaming you for an upset stomach (yes, we all hate imagining the worst; plan for it, just in case), "limited liability" means they can't take your personal assets, just those belonging to your company.

Research / inquire about "catering?" Different rules may apply.

Wishing you every success!

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September 1, 20150 found this helpful

Our city has a very active S.C.O.R.E. office where experienced "retirees" will give you lots of advice for free. Very helpful when starting a new venture. Look under Small Business Administration.

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