Starting a food company can be exciting and lucrative, but there are many regulations and steps that must be followed. No matter if you want to start a restaurant or produced bottled water, many of the regulations for starting a food business are the same. To ensure that your new food business is successful, take the time to make sure you cover the essential basics.
Things You'll Need
- Licenses and Permits
- Access to a Food Testing Lab
- Product Labels
- Manufacturing Facility or Commercial Kitchen
Determine what type of food products you will sell. You may want to produce pre-packaged foods such as cookies and pretzels, deli items such as packaged sandwiches and wraps, hot or cold catered food, or farmed foods such as artisan cheeses and organic meats.
If your new food company will be a restaurant, bakery, or food delivery service, it will be more expensive to launch than most other types of food businesses.
Get your state's required licenses. No matter what type of food company you start, you will need to acquire food permits ranging from food handling certificates to inspection certificates allowing you to manufacture food at a certain location. The type and number of licenses and permits you will need depends upon the type of food company you have, how the food is produced and packaged, and where the food is served.
Have your food products tested to determine their nutritional value. If you sell packaged food, in all likelihood you will need to place a label on the package stating its nutritional value. These values most be as accurate as possible, and to obtain nutritional data, most food companies send samples of their products to a food testing lab. Alternatively, you can develop an in-house testing lab if you have the money to do so.
Have proper labels made for your food products. Most packaged food products require a label on them that gives consumers important information about allergens, ingredients, and where the food was made. Depending upon what type of food you produce, your label may need to contain certain specific information such as the net weight of the product and its country of origin.
Develop a marketing plan. Marketing ideas for food businesses include: providing products for special event gift bags or non-profit events, advertising promotions and coupons; sending free samples with orders; gaining media coverage of your company through public relations to increase customer awareness. Also, having a Website, whether or not you sell your food products online, is a great marketing tool that will give your company a global presence.
Find a licensed, dependable place to have your food products manufactured. If you have a large food company, you will likely need to contract with a full-service, large scale food production factory. If you have a smaller food company, you may only need to secure space in a commercial kitchen to produce your products. Either way, ensure that the facility you use is clean and licensed to be a food production facility.
Contract with distributors and stores to sell your products. For some food companies, this means having products placed in major chain grocery stores or shopping channels through sales representatives. For smaller food companies, distribution may mean having food products placed in local bakeries, specialty stores, or fairs.
Tips & Warnings
- Get business and liability insurance whether your state requires it or not to protect your business legally and financially. It is best to anticipate needing insurance than to be in a situation without coverage.
- Do not try to start a food business without obtaining your state's required licenses and permits. Doing so could cause you to be fined, and your food business may be shut down.
- Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons, Michail
Regulations for a Home Food Business
Regulations regarding commercial food production in the home vary by city and state, but there are a few common regulations shared by...
How to Start a Business Selling Food
Opening a food business can be a slow process, but it also can be rewarding. You're most likely to succeed if you...
How to Start a Frozen Food Business
Starting a frozen food business is fairly simple and can be done with very little overhead. However, it will take some planning,...
How to Start a Food Business at Home
Wondering how to start a food business at home? Locally produced, hand-made and artisan foods have grown immensely in popularity and the...
How to Start a Food Manufacturing Company
Starting a food business where you make and market your own culinary creations is a dream of many people. A way to...
How to Become a Snack Food Distributor
Snack food distributors have the potential to serve a wider range of stores than the average grocery distributor because many outlets, such...
How to Start a Food Distribution Company
A food distribution company moves food products from the manufacturer to the market, or retailer. The distributor purchases the products and sells...
How to Get a License to Sell Food in Florida
Getting a license to sell food in Florida requires steps to be followed in a specific order. For instance, it is important...
How to Manufacture Your Own Children's Shoes
Developing and manufacturing a children's shoe collection requires a specific production process. When the business is established and operational, production packages are...
Do I Need a License to Sell Candy?
The question of whether you need a license to sell candy can be answered simply as yes. Usually. You will probably need...