Home-based catering businesses are not allowed in Idaho, but even starting a catering business using a commercial kitchen in Idaho involves far more than simply sharing your flair for food with the public. Before you start doing business, you need to apply for licenses and register with the local, state and federal governments. If you plan on selling liquor in your catering endeavor, additional requirements by both local and state governments must be met. Carefully identifying and satisfying all the requirements to properly launch your business is crucial.
Construct a good business plan for your home catering business and include its name. Decide if you will offer alcohol.
Visit the Internal Revenue Service's website, and obtain an Employer ID Number. Apply for the EIN online, by phone, fax, or mail.
Find a proper location for the kitchen that will be used to prepare the food for your catering business. In Idaho, catered food must be prepared in a certified commercial kitchen, not in a home. Call your regional district health department to arrange an inspection of the kitchen being used to prepare the catered food. Contact both your city and county planning and zoning departments for permit and zoning issues.
File for a Certificate of Assumed Business Name with the Idaho Secretary of State. Visit the Idaho Secretary of State's website. Click on the "Business Entities" link in the upper-left corner of the home page. Click "Assumed Business Name (ABN) Forms" under the heading of "Business Entity Forms." Fill out and print the Certificate of Assumed Business Name application. Mail the completed form, or deliver the form in person, along with the one-time $25 filing fee, to:
Secretary of State 450 N. Fourth St. Boise, ID 83720-0080 208-334-2300
Contact the Idaho State Tax Commission and complete Form ST-101, which is the "Sales Tax Resale Or Exemption Certificate." Food is taxed in Idaho. If you are making retail sales in Idaho, apply for a sales tax permit online, using Form IBR-1. Inquire as to whether your business needs a use tax account. Contact your local and county governments to determine if you must charge a local option sales tax in addition to the state tax.
Idaho State Tax Commission P.O. Box 36 Boise, ID 83722-0410 208-334-7660 800-972-7660
Contact your county's board of commissioners, which approves requests to establish a business in certain Idaho counties. Contact the appropriate city and county offices to obtain eating and drinking permits, special event permits, and any necessary liquor permits. Call your local county assessor's office for information regarding personal property tax on office and other equipment.
Christopher John has been a freelance journalist since 2003. He has written for regional newspapers such as "The Metro Forum" and the "West Tennessee Examiner." John has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Memphis State University.