The laws and regulations that govern catering companies vary by state, and Washington is no different. To start a Washington catering business, there are a few things you'll need to do to make sure you are operating legally.

Step 1.

Obtain a permit from your county's Public Health Department to run a food business by submitting a food service plan and commissary agreement.

Step 2.

Attend a food worker permit class, as should each of your employees. The classes typically last 90 minutes.

Step 3.

Purchase the catering equipment you'll need, including chaffing dishes, serving ware and sanitation supplies.

Step 4.

Promote your catering business by joining a network such as the International Caterers Association, launching a blog or website containing information about your menu and pricing and becoming a vendor at Washington event expos.


Determine where you will prepare the food you cater. You can either make the food at event sites if they have a registered commercial kitchen, in your own commercial kitchen or at the home of your clients. If using a home commercial kitchen, it must be separate from the kitchen used by the people living in the residence.