From registering a business name, insurance, food license and tax … what do you need to know for starting a cake or cupcake business in Australia.
I remember when I first thought about starting a home cake business and the sleepless nights thinking about the flavour combinations and the style of cupcakes I wanted.
The excitement to just GET STARTED was overwhelming. And I couldn’t wait to get to my first market!
I had just moved back home from living in England for a year. I had been working as a carer for people with disabilities and worked in the office as an admin assistant when I wasn’t caring. It was hard work. From being ‘on call’ to go into care work and being the office shit kicker to listening to the big bosses’ discussions on how the work wasn’t that hard when they hadn’t done a day’s support work in their life was tough. I had been in the industry for years and grew up with a brother with a disability.
To be honest, it felt like bull.
I was over worked, under paid and definitely not appreciated. And I was sick of people telling me what to do.
So, when I decided to leave and go home I decided I did not want to work for someone else for as long as possible! Making money for other people seemed pointless and a waste of time.
How did I get started?
I got a $1000 loan from my Gran for a food licence, insurance and packaging. I started testing recipes and as soon as I had the food licence I was at the very next markets!
From there it was a whirlwind of markets, Facebook, cyclone season, testing recipes, new flavours, taking wholesale orders for cafes and restaurants, expos, festivals, giving out business cards and taking custom orders for birthday cakes.
After 5 months of business it was, in all honesty, bat-crap crazy. I was working 70-hour weeks with 12 wholesale orders, attending 2-3 markets a week and couldn’t keep up. I had actually started dreaming of a cake biz knight to come and save me from all these orders. But the knight didn’t arrive and the orders just kept coming.
All I kept thinking was: what am I going to do!?
The orders now extended 50km north, 30km east and 130km south. It was a 200km radius and I couldn’t keep up. Something had to give. There were more cake orders and money to be made and I didn’t want to say no. I wanted to give to someone else.
And then one day I had the thought… what if I franchised?
What if I could actually give the orders to someone else and they make the money? That would rock! The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
We signed our 1st Franchisee at 9 months into business.
During the next 18 months I sold 8 franchises and within 2 years had sold 12 franchises.
Cake + Business + Marketing is my jam…
Having a home cake business is easier than you think. To have a legal business you need to –
1. Register a Business Name
I made a mistake in the video and said it is free – there is actually a small registration fee.
2. Get a Food License
If you are tossing around the idea of starting a cake or cupcake business, wanting to sell only at the markets, for fun, just to make a bit of ‘pocket’ money, and see if you want to turn it into a full blown business.
Even selling from a truck, temporary cafe or from your own kitchen, you need a Food License.
- Get Insurance
The most common question is what type of insurance to start with and where to get it from.
4. Get an ABN
For a legal business in Australia and NZ, this is essential to get an ABN
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Founder – Angel Foods and Cake Business School
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