Many who aspire to start a home-based food business do not realize how few states allow this. Those that do have very specific guidelines that must be followed in order for a home-based food manufacturing company to sell food wholesale or to the public. If you are interested in opening a food manufacturing business in your home, you will need to do quite a bit of research into your state's laws before you start operating.
Check with your state's Department of Health or Board of Professional Regulation to see whether they allow home-based food manufacturing--most states don't. Those that do, such as New Hampshire, typically have stringent rules concerning home food preparation.
Obtain a tax identification number from your state, if needed, as well as an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS. Most states requires that any business, including a food business, have these forms of identification.
Take a food-manager certification course, if you will be the only person working in your home-based food business. All other employees will need to take a food handlers certification course. Your state's Department of Heath should be able to provide you with a list of state-approved food training programs and course providers.
Purchase FDA-approved, food-safe containers to package the food you prepare. You can buy these containers and packaging from a supplier such as ULine or Nashville Wraps. If you provide your state tax identification number or EIN, they may be able to waive any applicable sales tax on your order.
Buy a new set of kitchen appliances and utensils for your home-based food manufacturing facility from a company such as InstaWares. Most states that allow home-based commercial food production do not allow utensils and equipment that are used to prepare food for those living in the home to be used to prepare food made available for sale to the public.
Request an inspection of your home-based food business by contacting your state's Department of Health. They will ensure you're following proper food storage and sanitation guidelines, and they will check to see whether your food operation is separated from all living areas in the home.