Are you a fabulous chef? Do your friends rave every time you host a dinner party? Why not profit from your culinary talents by starting your own cooking business?
You have several options when it comes to starting a home-based cooking business. You can be a personal chef, sell food or baked goods at local farmers' markets and supermarkets, or start your own catering business serving parties and other special events.
Before you fire up your oven, though, you need to find out whether you're allowed to cook out of your own kitchen. Many state health departments require any food that's sold to the public to be prepared in a commercial kitchen. If that's the case in your area, you'll have to either bring your own kitchen up to code or rent one near you. Also check with your state, city, and county to find out whether your business will require a food safety and/or catering license, as well as a permit and inspections.
Once your kitchen is fully legal, it needs to be operational. Decide what type of food you're going to specialize in, whether you're making cupcakes, barbecue or French haute cuisine. Once you've got a menu, you have to invest in the equipment and supplies you'll need to make it.
You also need to cover yourself with liability insurance, just in case one of your customers winds up with a bad case of food poisoning after eating your famous oyster casserole.