Running a business from home can be an enjoyable, and profitable way to earn money. Once you have given thought to how to start a business, you need to make sure you follow all necessary regulations. It can seem like a daunting task understanding all the legal requirements for selling cakes from home. Not to worry, our guide helps you understand the rules!
Selling Cakes From Home – Legal Requirements
Having a good clear idea of the business regulations surrounding cake selling will ensure you are staying within the law. It is integral to be knowledgeable in all fields of your business including aspects such as food hygiene. Running any business from home can be challenging when it comes to the ins and outs of red tape. Food businesses, however, have a whole different set of laws to be aware of and adhere to.
Follow our guide below, and familiarise yourself with all the legal requirements you need to be aware of before you start a business selling cakes from home.
Register With Environmental Health
Registering with Environmental Health should be one of the first tasks you carry out as it can take some time for the process to reach completion.
You need to find your Local Authority and then find the contact details for Environmental Health. You can register online using the Registration Form and you can also call them with any questions you have. A local EH Officer will come out and inspect your premises within 18 months of opening.
Register With HMRC
Many people find this quite a daunting prospect but it’s honestly not as scary as it seems. Regardless of whether you will be using as an Accountant or not, you need to sign up as a sole trader (in most circumstances) for tax purposes.
You may not be over the threshold for being liable to pay tax but you still need to send in a yearly self-assessment tax return.
When it comes to the accounts side of things, my advice is to keep on top of your income and expenses. Set aside a morning each month to make sure everything is up to date. Not only does this keep you organised and on top of the business but it also will seem less of a big task the more you do it.
Public Liability Insurance
Covering yourself legally is so important when you run your own business as you are vulnerable to legal action without it.
Public Liability Insurance supports you with any complaints that may be made, any accidents that occur on your premises, and anyone that complains of becoming sick from your cakes. It can seem very tempting to bypass this step but you are then responsible for any legal fees you rack up. For £60 per year, it’s well worth having this extra protection, especially as a food business.
Grab A Copy Of Safer Food, Better Business
The Safer Food, Better Business downloadable pack covers a diverse range of food businesses from Childcare Settings through to Restaurants. Even as a self-employed sole trader, you will want to have a copy of this in your working environment. It is packed full of great, helpful advice and also has sections to write your own records.
The guide covers aspects of food businesses such as correct food storage, fridge and freezer temperatures, and how to keep your kitchen safe. It helps you ensure you are keeping on top of the 4 C’s of Food Safety.
Food Hygiene Certificate
You might have already researched this area and established this is not a legal requirement. However, this should not be something you decide to ignore because good food hygiene practise is integral to your cake making business. Taking the correct course helps you understand your role in ensuring all food safety & hygiene practices you carry out are safe.
You can take courses online for a reasonable price and our guide on Food Hygiene Levels will help you understand how the different certificates apply to food businesses.
Our guide looking at if you need a food hygiene certificate for cake making will give detailed information on options.
Inform Your Mortgage Lender Or Landlord
You may assume that by owning your home you do not require permission from the Mortgage Lender. However, it is worth contacting them. Your Landlord also needs to be asked prior to setting up but in most cases, they will be supportive and foresee no issues. Honesty and being upfront go a long way as a self-employed / sole trader and will preempt any possible issues.
Consider A Business Bank Account
One of the phrases you hear a lot is “Try and keep your work life separate from your personal life”. This is true and the accounts side of things is also useful to have separated from your personal account. It has the advantage of making your tax return so much easier to complete. It is also simple to see how business finances are progressing as all the income and outgoings are relative to your business.
Hopefully our guide on how to start a business selling cakes has helped you understand your legal obligations.