General Licenses Needed for a Home Bakery

Are you a passionate baker who dreams of starting a business, but is overwhelmed with the idea of owning a storefront? Then, a home bakeshop could be the perfect solution for you. Not only is it a cost-effective alternative, but it also allows you to test the waters of the restaurant industry from the comfort of your own home.

Depending on the state, a home-based bakery may require a business license, an employer identification number (EIN), a resale permit, a food handler’s permit, a food service license, a building health permit, and a hawking-in-meals business license.

It is important to check with your local health department and business licensing office for specific requirements in your area, comply with zoning regulations and obtain any necessary permits for operating a business from your home.

Business License

General Licenses Needed for a Home Bakery

Starting a business in the United States requires obtaining a business license. This initial step is crucial in order to legally open and operate your bakery. The license grants you the legal authority to conduct business activities within your city and state, such as buying and selling goods, hiring employees, and more.

The specific requirements and fees for obtaining a business license may vary depending on your location, such as paying a percentage of your sales or a fixed annual fee. It’s important to check with your local government for the specific regulations and requirements for your area.

  • To get a business license, do a fast Google search for “your state + business license. Follow the instructions outlined on your state government’s website for the application process and remember that you must renew your business license every year.
  • In most cases, a registration fee will be required. The fee for the license might be anything from $50 to a few hundred dollars. The cost can be a varying expense depending on factors including location, industry, and projected profit.

Employer Identification Number

An employer identification number, also known as an EIN, is a unique identification number assigned to a business by the IRS. Obtaining an EIN is necessary for businesses that will have employees or be required to file taxes. It is important to note that a home bakery business will need to obtain an EIN as it is one of the licenses required to legally operate.

Resale Permit 

When operating a home bakery business, obtaining a resale permit can be a valuable tool to help reduce your costs. This type of permit allows you to purchase wholesale goods and inventory without having to pay sales tax, thus avoiding a double collection of taxes on those items. Instead, the sales tax is collected when your customers make their purchases.

It is important to check with your state’s revenue department to understand the specific requirements and regulations regarding resale permits and the regular reporting of sales tax collected. This can help you save money and stay compliant with tax laws. Some notes to remember:

  • State resale permit licensing requirements vary and some allow online applications. Find the state agency that handles resale license applications online. 
  • Pricing for this permit ranges from $0 to $50.

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Food handler’s permit

General Licenses Needed for a Home Bakery

Having a food handler’s permit is an essential aspect of operating your home bakery business. This permit acts as evidence that you and your employees have completed a food safety training program that is recognized by your state or local government. It ensures that all individuals working in your bakery have received the appropriate training on how to safely handle and properly prepare food to avoid food contamination.

Getting this permit is one of the most important things you can do to make sure your bakery is in line with food safety rules and can be run legally and may be obtained by attending and passing a recognized training program. Check with your local health authority to find out which courses are accepted in your area, as online and in-person options are available. Course fees typically range from $5 to $30.

Building Health Permit

Obtaining a building health permit for your home bakery is an important step to ensure that your kitchen and operating space meet safety regulations. This permit is typically issued by the state or county health department and allows them to conduct periodic inspections to ensure compliance.

Having a building health permit is crucial, as it verifies that your bakery is operating in a safe and hygienic environment, assuring your customers and regulators that your food is safe to consume. For the specific requirements and regulations for obtaining this permit for your home bakery, inquire from your local health authorities since not all states require this. Typically, the cost of obtaining a health permit can range from $50 to $1,000

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Food Service License

A “food service license” is a permit issued by a government agency that allows a business to prepare and sell food to the public. To operate a home bakery, you will likely need to obtain this license from your state or local health department. 

This license typically requires passing an inspection, obtaining insurance, and meeting other health and safety regulations. To start the process, find your city’s health department by doing an online search. You can visit the health department and apply in person or do so over the internet. The price of a food service license may be between $100 and $1,000.

Business License for Hawking in Meals

A “Hawking-in-Meals Business License” is a permit that allows for the production of food items at one location and their subsequent sale at another location. This type of license is often necessary for home-based bakeries, as they do not have a brick-and-mortar storefront. Usually, the license covers getting the baked goods from the place where they are made to the place where they will be sold.

Obtaining this is essential for any home bakery that wishes to legally supply goods to restaurants, cafes, and delis or sell their goods at food markets. This license is typically issued by a government agency and may require passing an inspection, obtaining insurance, and meeting other health and safety regulations. Additionally, the Environmental Health and Safety Officer may also ask to inspect your food transportation containers to ensure that they are airtight and watertight with lids.

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Starting a home-based bakery business can be a cost-effective and flexible alternative to opening a storefront. However, it is important to note that several licenses and permits may be required in order to legally operate a home bakery. These may include a business license, an Employer Identification Number (EIN), a resale permit, a food handler’s permit, a food service license, a building health permit, and other pertinent certifications.

By taking the time to understand and obtain the necessary licenses, you can ensure that your home bakery is in compliance with all regulations and can operate legally.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it expensive to start a home-based bakery business?

The cost of starting a home bakery business can vary depending on factors such as location, equipment, and license requirements. However, it can generally be considered a cost-effective alternative to opening a storefront, with potential expenses such as a business license, an employer identification number (EIN), a resale permit, a food handler’s permit, a food service license, a building health permit, etc.

How often do I need to renew my home bakery business licenses?

The frequency of renewing home bakery business licenses depends on the specific requirements of your state or local government. It’s important to check with your local health department and business licensing office for specific renewal requirements in your area. Some licenses may need to be renewed annually, while others may have a different renewal schedule.

To learn more on how to start your own bakery business check out my startup documents here

This blog post is provided for informational purposes only. The information contained is not intended to constitute legal advice or to substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney.