As with most industries involving food prep, you can’t just, well, do it. If you will be serving alcohol at catering events you will need a liquor license. Starting a Catering Business – 10 Legal Documents You Need. Step 7: Market during your events. She had previously worked in food and retail management, and she fell back on that experience when it came time to find a new source of income. If you place a billboard for marketing purposes, you must meet county and state laws for signage and a license may be required. In most states the Department of Health provides these licenses. do not influence our opinions of the products and services available to small businesses. “I started off doing custom proposals for people, and I’ve stayed with them throughout these nine years,” she says. “You can be a great cook, and that doesn’t necessarily make you a great caterer,” she says. Just keep in mind that what works for you when you’re starting a catering business might not be what works once your business starts growing. Once you have the type of catering business you want to start in mind, you can move on to choosing a name for your business and defining the entity for it as well. would i have to get a different one or can i just start it up now. JustBusiness strives to keep information up-to-date but, at times, information may be different on a product Additionally, uniforms, including vectorized logos, can be “really cheap or really expensive,” in the words of Burnett. “And renting is great: You know what the cost will be and you don’t have the upfront cost of purchasing something. Knowing how to acquire capital is one of the keys to figuring out how to start a catering business. When you are planning to start your catering business, you have to be aware that there are legal considerations that you would have to meet up with for your business to be considered legal; so that you can operate freely without fear or harassment. If you start a cottage food business there are limits to the sales volume you can generate in one calendar year. Corporate catering might involve more focus on LinkedIn advertising, where you can buy leads; you might also pay people to knock on doors and pass out fliers to bigger businesses. Ensuring staff have the proper training for Food Certification is often mandatory as well. Burnett made the decision to start her business out of necessity after her husband lost his job in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. That can put you in a tight spot. Some caterers only do cocktail reception drinks and small finger foods, others do buffet-style catering, and some do the sit-down catering that you might see at a banquet or wedding. FAQ . Permits will depend on local laws and regulations, and they can range from anything for serving food to the location of your business. And in something like the catering business, there should naturally be some ebb and flow, whether it’s the seasonality of the type of catering that you do, or the calendar—seasons and holidays.”. “The ability to be a MacGyver is a requirement. Step 6: Hire, train, and outfit your catering staff. When you’re just starting a catering business, that’s where the putting food in someone’s mouth tactic comes in. Starting a catering business requires a lot of catering equipment. You’ll want to register your business and its name with the state you plan to operate in. There … “But at some point, though you want to buy those things yourself because you still can charge for them and basically you’re paying for the ownership of them. General requirements vary but always include inspecting the facility for state compliance. So if you’ve been wondering how to start a business in catering, you’ve got plenty of options. Step 1: Choose your business name and business entity type. This will give you permission to start a business in your state. All partner products You also need to pass a county or state health inspection—a residential kitchen likely won’t cut it, so consider looking for a commercial kitchen that has already been approved. In most states the Department of Health provides these licenses. or service provider’s website. Debbie has also owned her own businesses and understands both corporate and small business challenges. Look into sourcing all the supplies you need, including linens, utensils, china, even tables and chairs for some events, and of course the food. Decide what type of catering you want to do. “It’s through the guests that are attending the events you’re catering for.”. Since we were going to have in-house staff as well as catering staff, we had to go through a much more extensive training period.”. Burnett found herself in business well before she expected to be. Debbie McRill went from managing a Texas Department of Criminal Justice office to working for Compaq and Hewlett-Packard as a technical writer and project manager in 1997. Columbia – The Business License Office of City Hall issues businesses business licenses which are required for any business activity. If you want to start your own catering business and want to begin with an Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Service Management, ECPI University’s Culinary Institute of Virginia is here to help. I think definitely.”, Burnett notes that, for the catering industry, access to capital is especially important: “Most small businesses fail because they don’t have the capital to get them through the ebbs and flows. Answered March 5, 2018. Since licensing and permit requirements for small businesses can vary among jurisdictions, it is critical that you contact your state and local government to determine the specific obligations of your new business. “At the first location, we brought on staff members one by one as we needed people. For a basic catering operation, you’ll need refrigerators to keep supplies fresh, cooking equipment (including an oven, hob, fryer, and maybe a grill) and food preparation equipment. If you aren’t as lucky as Burnett, you will probably need some funding to get your catering business off the ground and through slower months. Burnett says you need to “know what you’re getting into,” due to the physical and demanding nature of the work. Step 2: Write a catering business plan. I have a business and a license but its for a internet business. Once that is complete, you need to begin the licensing process as several licenses and permits are required before opening for business. 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