Starting a food business is hard. It can also be very expensive. There are so many licenses and regulations that you need to have just to get set up and ready to sell food. I'm here to help make your life easier and give you the step by step instructions of what you need to do to set up a legitimate food business. I'm Sari Kimbell and I am the founder of Food Business Success. And I'm a food industry consultant. I have helped hundreds of clients and food entrepreneurs just like you get their business started and launched as a legitimate profitable food business.
You have an idea for a food business. The first step is to set up your business legally and formally. And first thing you're going to need is a name, right? So think of a creative name. It's getting harder and harder these days to find names that aren't trademarked or don't already have the website domain taken. So do a little bit of homework and think through the name that you want for your business.
When you're doing research, you're going to want to search for domain names, trademarks both in your state and out of state through the federal database. You're also going to want to make sure that the name isn't too similar to any other business out there.
After you've done research and you have your business name, you want to register it through your secretary of state as a business. And when it comes to this you have a couple different options. You can register as a sole proprietor, as an LLC or as a corporation. My general advice to clients is to register as an LLC. The benefits of registering as an LLC is that it affords you some protection against someone going after your personal assets if something were to happen. And since you're going to be in the food industry, there's always potential for something to happen so you want to ensure you're limiting your personal liability.
Depending on whether you're starting a business by yourself or with a partner, you'll have to fill out a specific form to document all that information.
Once you've registered your business with the state, you'll need to go to the IRS website to file for an EIN number. This is like a social security number, but for your business. It's a quick online form and then you can take these two documents to a bank to obtain a banking account.
The reason it's so critical to open a business banking account is to ensure that your personal assets are separate from your business assets and this is a big part of proving the legitimacy of your business. From this point on, all your business expenses should come out of this account.
I hope this was helpful! If you'd like another free resource, check out our business checklist to get started and don't forget to check out all of our other videos for more tips to ensuring your food business success!