Starting a Home-based Food Business? Here’s What to Know


The decision to start a food business can be one that changes your life. Home cooks looking to bring their food to the tables of those other than their friends and family have finally allowed themselves to dream big enough to hope that others will love their dishes as much as they do. 

While you may believe the goal of owning a restaurant may be too high to reach right now, even the smallest of business owners actually have a great entry point into the food market without needing to shell out very much: cottage food businesses.

Read on to learn more about starting a home food business of your own:

Start by Understanding the Cottage Laws

Cottage food laws, which are laws on the state level that let small-time manufacturers produce low-risk foods to sell in their homes, can vary. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the ones in your state. If you’re unsure what a low-risk food is in the legal sense, take this definition in mind: food that has little chance of causing food-based illness (eg. certain baked goods; candy; jams; jellies). Low-risk food is also food that requires no refrigeration.

Check Out Your Competition

Knowing the do’s and don’ts is just half of it. You will need to decide what it is you will be selling in the first place. If you’re looking to start a business already, then chances are you have a product. Great! If your goal is to expand the business into stores or to sell from a website, then extra work has to be done. Your success will rely on just how viable your idea is in the first place.

Check out the competition to get a solid idea of whether or not it is so. Are there other brands with a similar product? What’s the demand like for said product? How can you make your item stand out from other products on the market out there? Having a firm grip on these facts can give you the best avenue possible for success as you move forward. 

Get the Paperwork Done

In terms of legality, cottage laws are just the beginning. Depending on your city/town and state, you might need a license before you can operate a business from home. The good news is that they’re not tough to acquire at all. They’re not that expensive, either, which makes them even better investments as is.

Pick out a unique, easy-to-remember business name as well. Make sure you explore trademarks because the last thing you need is to run into legal trouble by accidentally copying someone else’s idea.

The most important part of completing your paperwork and obtaining any licensing necessary is ensuring your operations are compliant with the law. You don’t want to have to deal with the legal stress that comes with being caught for operating without a license. Luckily, you should have access to legal experts and/or business owners either within your network or the local circles that can help you.


Starting a home food business does not require an arm and a leg in terms of investment. That said, it’s important to follow certain steps and make sure everything is in place before you start cooking. Familiarize yourself with cottage food laws, check out your competition, and be sure you have paperwork in order like your business license.

Trying to find restaurant supplies? Check out ASAD Wholesale! We sell wholesale cigarettes, groceries, candy, and other products to supply to your business.

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