Starting a food business is hard and can be really expensive. There are so many regulations and licenses and things you need to know about. I'm going to teach you about some of the licenses, regulations, and legal things that you need to do to set up your business for success and make your food business real. Today, we're going to talk about some of the other licenses that you need beyond your food licenses. My name is Sari Kimble and I'm the creator of Food Business Success. I help business entrepreneurs launch and grow successful, profitable businesses. If you haven't, yet, before you get started here, check out my other blog post about getting your food business set up.
There is no specific business license for a food business. So really, your business license is your tax license. So we're going to talk about sales tax licenses first. Food is an interesting category for a lot of states. Food falls into two categories, the first is ready to eat and the second is packaged food for home consumption. If you fall into the second category, many states do not charge tax. Sometimes in this category, counties and cities also don't charge tax, so you'll want to confirm that with your local tax offices. In our business foundations course, we give you all the information on how to quickly check this information for your specific location.
Depending on what your location requires, you'll need to file with different offices. For example, where I am, packaged foods aren't taxed by the state or county, but they are by the city. So I'd still need to file with the state as a packaged food for home consumption company and then a separate tax license with the city.
You state tax license is very important because it's the last piece of documentation that makes your business legitimate and it also allows you to cut some of your costs by being tax exempt.
Now, when you sell goods at a market or an event or online, you do need to collect that tax and then remit it to the proper taxing office - whether it's a state, county or city tax. If you sell your product outside of your home city, you need to open another sales tax license through them. So if you're doing farmer's markets in multiple cities or even multiple states, you might have a few different licenses for all those areas. And when you sell goods in those places, you need to remit taxes to the different offices in that particular location.
The last license we're going to talk about today, which is a little more unusual is an outdoor vendor license. Some events you want to attend might require this, but it's just something to be on the lookout for to ensure that you're meeting those standards and can obtain that license if you need to.
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!