Personal chefs offer private cooking services to individuals or businesses. These professionals may decide to open their own business or operate independently from a current employer, which will result in the need for a business license.
Personal chefs typically fall under the category of catering in most states. Owners of catering services are required have both a food safety license and a regular business license. Other restrictions for food delivery or cooking environments may be determined by the state or municipality that the business operates in.
Business licenses will often have an annual renewal period that requires businesses to pay a flat fee or percentage of sales to obtain the certificate. Because state laws differ, personal chefs may need a state license and a local license if operating within city limits.
Operating as a business will change an individual’s tax return. Personal chefs will often need to report business or self-employed income, which can drastically change their federal and state tax liabilities depending on the amount of their business and licensure.