When it comes to the catering industry in Massachusetts, there are many events for which people need catering companies. With weddings, birthday parties, company picnics, retirement parties and the famous New England clam bake, a catering business can be quite successful. Here's how to open that successful catering business in Massachusetts.

Step 1.

Form a Massachusetts corporation. When it comes to operating a business you want to incorporate that business within the commonwealth of Massachusetts so that you may take advantage of the many protections offered by being a business. For instance, the owners of a corporation have limited personal liability when it comes to judgments against the company. Also, business expenses such as the purchase of food, equipment or supplies can be charged to the company instead of the individual. This amount will be deducted before the individual who owns the corporation calculates his income, thus lowering the tax obligation. Check out the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website for further information.

Step 2.

Obtain a business license. A caterer within the commonwealth of Massachusetts needs a business license in order to operate. While this license is required by law, it is actually issued by local county and town governments. For further information specific to your area in Massachusetts, go to the Massachusetts Department of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

Step 3.

Get a liquor license. One of the ways that a catering company can make a lot of money is by providing alcoholic beverages to guests. The mark-up on the liquor makes for high profits, and in most cases waste cost associated with beer, wine and spirits is quite low. To get a liquor license, go to the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission and determine the type of licenses you'll need for your catering business. (They vary, depending where you'll be serving alcohol and what kind.)

Step 4.

Lease a commercial kitchen. Work with a Massachusetts commercial real estate agent and find commercial kitchen space where you can operate. Try to keep your initial rent costs low and lease ofor the term short so that you are not on the hook for a lot of cash as you start to get the business off the ground.

Step 5.

Purchase catering and restaurant equipment from Massachusetts suppliers. Seek out suppliers in the state of Massachusetts that supply restaurant and catering equipment. You'll need commercial kitchen supplies as well as catering trucks and equipment that can be used to transport the food once it has been made.

Step 6.

Form a relationship with a Massachusetts food supplier. In order for a catering company to be successful, you must get quality food at low prices. Forming a relationship with a wholesale food supplier in the area will give you that access. Also, try to find fresh produce from local Massachusetts farms to enhance your ingredients list.

Step 7.

Hire qualified staff. When it comes to staffing your catering company, look to Massachusetts culinary schools for new employees. You want to hire people who are passionate about the food industry, have a strong work ethic and a desire to keep learning as their careers progress.

Step 8.

Advertise your Massachusetts catering business. Now that you are ready to launch, it's time to let people know that you exist. Use a Massachusetts-based advertising agency to advertise in local newspapers, regional magazines, television, radio and on the internet. Targeting businesses that often hold lunches, or bridal shows, for brides who need their weddings catered, are two great places to begin to build your Massachusetts-based catering business.