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Corporate Law Blog Post

Ten Tips for Every New Entrepreneur

California’s new Homemade Food Act, which came into force in January of this year, is creating waves in the state’s food business world. The Act is revolutionizing the industry, allowing entrepreneurs to sell a range of non-perishable foods prepared in their own kitchens for the first time. For those considering their own culinary venture, or any entrepreneur setting up a new business, the nation’s Small Business Administration recommends following these 10 steps to success:

  • Prepare a Business Plan For the best chance of success, create a plan to map out the future of the business and to help attract investors
  • Get Assistance Look to friends and family to help you for any of the first steps in making decisions about your new venture
  • Choose a Location While for traditional businesses, your location may depend on your clientele, for this new cottage food business, the new legislation allows you to operate from home – rental kitchens are also now springing up to meet the surging demand
  • Obtain Financing Your new business will typically need either investors or loans, and crowdfunding platforms like Three Revolutions (specifically for culinary ventures) and Kickstarter can be great resources  these platforms enable local food ventures to raise capital directly from individual funders without having to resort to difficult-to-obtain commercial loans
  • Decide How to Structure Your Business Consider the pros and cons of sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, corporations, S Corporations and nonprofits for structuring your own business
  • Decide on Your Business Name Remember to inform the state government of your business name
  • Register for a Tax ID Number If you plan to have employees it is imperative that you obtain a Tax ID Number
  • Register to Pay Taxes If you are new to the business world you might not know about all the relevant taxes that you are required to pay, learn about and register to pay the state and local taxes affecting you
  • Obtain Your Licenses or Permits Cottage food entrepreneurs need to apply for a permit through their county health department in addition to federal and state licenses which may apply. San Francisco now provides an online application process for this
  • Know Your Employer Responsibilities As an employer you have legal duties to your employees

To ensure that setting up your business progresses smoothly, enlist the help of a qualified business attorney. With the large amounts of paperwork to be completed, a professional’s advice will help you navigate the process quickly and efficiently, avoiding errors which could result in costly fees and penalties down the road.

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Creech Liebow & Kraus
333 West San Carlos Street, Suite 1600
San Jose, California, 95110-2726 USA