How to open a home bakery in PA

I have been asked how did I start my bakery from my home kitchen and I decided to share my steps with you.
In order to prepare and sell food from a residential kitchen, you need to obtain permission from your Township and receive a permit from PA Department of Agriculture. Before starting anything, you would want to make sure that the food you are planning to prepare, doesn’t require a registered commercial kitchen. To find out, go to www.agriculture.pa.gov , scroll down a little and click on “Limited Food Establishment “ then under Forms click on “Application Packet - Limited Food Establishment (PDF). Print the application out and on the 3rd page you will find a list of food you cannot prepare and sell from your residential kitchen. Then you can start moving forward.
But first comes the name. It took me entire month to come up with the right name for my bakery. Once I chose the name, I began my steps.
In order to have your kitchen inspected, you have to register your bakery at Pennsylvania Department of State
1. I decided to go as a Limited Liability Company - LLC. There is a $125.00 registration fee.
Go to www.corporations.pa.gov and under Forms click on “Domestic Limited Liability Company, scroll down and click on “certificate of organization” , fill the form, print it out and mail along with your payment to the address provided on application. You may also submit the application on line.
2. My second step was to get an IRS ID number
You can do it by calling at 1-800-829-3676 or apply on line at www.irs.gov. At the home page click on “Apply for an Employer ID number (EIN), then click on “Apply for an EIN Online”, read all steps and click on “Apply online Now” getting an ID number is free of any charge.
3. With having your business registered, you can apply for the “Home Occupation Permit" at your Township Office. It was a $35.00 fee at my township, I am not sure if it varies at different places. They will ask you to draw a plan of your home and highlight areas you will use for preparing and storing your products. You will also have to draw your yard, drive way and side walks. Call your township for the application or print it out from their website.
4. After all these are done, you can finally apply for Limited Food Establishment Permit at Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Food Safety. Fill in your previously printed application and mail out to the provided address. It will take a couple of weeks to process. Then you will receive a letter inviting you to schedule your kitchen inspection . They will collect a $35.00 fee at the time of inspection.
I will talk about how to prepare for the inspection in my next blog.
I hope it was helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions below in the comments box
Thank you
Yelena


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