Culinary Schools

The Business Side of Catering

The decision to open your own catering business is an expensive one. The initial financial investment is so great that potential caterers will often put up any property they currently own as collateral, risking their present in the hope of a successful future. Before you commit to your dream, you must thoroughly assess this risk. Never gamble more than you can afford to lose. Dependent upon the market and your location, you can start a catering business for as little as $2,000. This should cover not only the compulsory licensing but also the start-up gear you’ll need.

You can contact your local courthouse or search online to find out which state agency maintains and regulates catering licenses. This agency will vary from state to state, so it’s important to identify which one you’ll need to approach. You’ll also need a tax ID number, issued by the IRS, which will essentially serve as a social security number for your business. Lastly, you’ll need a food handler permit for yourself and all employees and a liquor license if you intend to serve alcohol.

Your budget for equipment and supplies will directly correspond to your initial goals for business size. Remember that your business will grow as your financials do, so don’t be too worried if you’re only able to focus on the essentials for now. With the paperwork and accouterments out of the way, you’ll need to focus on just one more expenditure: advertising. Minimal exposure should cost you around $500 to …

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