How to Start a Catering Business in Texas

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Texans love everything big including big parties, and events, which makes it the perfect state to start a catering business in. Caterers organize, plan, and deliver full party or event menus. They supply entire food plans for weddings, birthdays, corporate events, receptions and conferences. However, they can also work on a smaller scale offering corporate lunches, boxed lunches, or even picnic fare.

Get the education and knowledge you need. Enroll in a Texas culinary school or take special food preparation courses. These will teach you about budgeting, business management and current food trends.

Register your business using the legal structure you want with the Texas Secretary of State. Register the DBA or fictitious name you plan to use for the catering business at this time, too. If you plan to advertise with a fictitious name like “Mary’s Kitchen” instead of your registered business name you have to register the name with the Texas Secretary of State as well as the business.

Visit the Internal Revenue Service office nearest you or visit the online website to apply for your Employer Identification Number (EIN). This number will allow you to process employee tax withholding.

Register for other business permits such as the Texas Occupational Business Tax Business License, and the Texas Sellers permit which you can get at the county clerks office.

Call the Texas Department of State Health Department at 512-834-6626 and ask about health regulations, insurance and inspection certificates. Fill out an application online for a Texas retail vendor permit. Type in all of the required information , pay the fee and view and print your receipt.

Decide on the type of catering service you want to offer and whether you want to offer a simple chef service offering in-home catering or a larger business where you will need an industrial kitchen. Asses your equipment, your start-up funds, and your available kitchen space, to make this decision.

Plan your menus and decide on the type of food you want to offer. Take into consideration the type of clients you want to attract and their tastes. Keep the process simple but personalized. You may not want to start with complicated dishes that require expensive, or hard to find ingredients.

Connect with other professionals in the business by joining catering professional associations like the National Association of Catering Executives or the International Caterers Association. This type of association can give you ideas, help you find equipment, and offers workshops that can help make your catering business a success.

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About the Author

Jennifer Moore began writing in 2006, specializing in Web content, blogs and forum postings. She is a graduate from the most prestigious university in Mexico, Universidad de Las Americas, with a B.A. in international relations, later obtaining a U.S. teacher's degree and an additional CompTIA A+ certification in computer technology. Moore has written for My Mexico Living, BoomersAbroad and various other websites.

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