Starting a home-based business allows you to put your home to use for generating an income. Though an assortment of businesses work well in a house with little to no outside inspection prior to getting the business up and running, some ideas require more formal processes and procedures. A home-based bakery business, run out of your private kitchen, requires an inspection be performed to help ensure food safety.
First, find out what your state and local governments require for the type of home-based bakery you want to start. You will not only need to know the specifications for your kitchen and appliances, but also if you will need to apply for any exceptions to ordinances on the books in your community. If you do need to apply for exceptions to any local laws to even operate a business in your home, wait until you know whether your request has been approved before you take any further steps.
Compare your current appliances to the appliance grades required by your state's Department of Health for in-home commercial use. Verify your current appliances are acceptable. Test and have repaired all appliances which are not in proper working order. Even if you believe all appliances function properly, have an electrician or service repair person come in to professionally clean, service and maintain the appliances. Get a copy of all work performed for use later on in the inspection process. Replace appliances as necessary to meet state mandated requirements.
Contact your state agency responsible for licensing and inspecting home-based businesses for food preparation. When contacting the agency, make sure to specifically state that you will be using your personal kitchen for a bakery business. Request information be sent to you to make a formal request for an inspection if required, or verbally request to have an in-home inspection performed.
Clean and organize your kitchen. Make sure to have your personal food items stored in one location and business use ones in another. Use labeled containers for all dry goods to help get your work space in a usable manner. Remove all pet food and feeding bowls out of the kitchen and relocate to another portion of the house. Consider blocking off pet access to the kitchen as animal access to a home-based kitchen for business use is not allowed by most state and local licensing agencies.
Clean your kitchen the day before and morning of your scheduled inspection. Invite the inspector in to your home and take the inspector directly to your kitchen. Use the entrance closest to your kitchen for convenience. Sit back and allow the inspector to go through your kitchen to inspect all items, appliances and preparation, storage and working areas. Answer all questions asked by the inspector honestly.
Receive the inspection report from the inspector. Attach a copy of the final inspection report, once you have passed, to all additional business licensing and zoning paperwork required or mandated by the county, city or state where you live.
Consider making samples of your work for the inspection so you can further illustrate the types of foods you make.
Do not lie or misrepresent information to the inspector in order to obtain a passing rating.
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