Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Cake Business

The prospect of turning a passion into a real business can be exciting for many people. Over the last decade, more and more people have started their own cake business from home. Some are self-employed, whilst others have taken steps to turn it into a limited company. The great thing about this type of work is the flexibility it offers. You can work part-time at your own leisure or treat it like any other full-time occupation.

In this guide, we’ll be covering what you need to know before starting a baking business from home, giving you useful information around home baking regulations. For anyone that is going one step further, and is planning to open their own bakery in the near future which offers home delivery. You’ll need to consider a food delivery insurance policy. By visiting, you can easily compare different insurers in a matter of minutes and find the most competitive price available.

If you’re starting a new cake business from the comfort of your own home, you’ll need to follow the steps listed below.

Register as self-employed

As soon as you’re ready to start a new baking business, make sure you inform HMRC that you are self-employed. You can register online and this will allow you to use the self-assessment system. You will still need to do this even if your baking business is run from home on a part-time basis or if you have another job.

Setting up as a sole trader may be the most straightforward choice for many people, however, you also have the option to register as a limited company. There are a number of guides available online which explain the advantages and disadvantages to each option. So, it may be worth checking these out before you begin.

Adhering to home baking regulations in the UK

You will need to follow a number of rules and regulations when baking, these may be confusing at first, but it’s important to familiarise yourself with these beforehand.

To start with, you may wish to take a level 2 course if this is the first time you’re working with food in a professional manner. This will help you understand what rules need to be followed. Next, you’ll need to think about obtaining a food hygiene certificate.

Briefly put, your kitchen and working environment needs to be kept clean at all times. You must also follow excellent food hygiene practices in the kitchen. This includes areas such as preventing cross contamination and pest control. It’s worth noting that a home baking cake business will not be regulated to the same high standards of a large commercial business such as a bar or restaurant.

According to the Food Standards Agency, these are the regulations each food preparation area must adhere to:

Floors and walls – Must be maintained properly, kept in a good state of repair, and disinfected regularly.

Ceilings – Must be easy to clean and free from condensation and mould.

Doors and windows – Must be easy to clean and constructed in a way that does not allow the build-up of dirt.

Cleaning equipment – You will require facilities that help you clean, disinfect and store utensils in a good environment. A hot and cold water supply is also a must have.

Washing food – Separate sinks will be required for washing your food and hands. These sinks must also be kept clean at all times and be disinfected regularly.

Fridge/freezer – It would be preferable to have a separate fridge and freezer for storing food for your business. However, if this is not possible, clearly labelled containers should be fine as this will help prevent cross contamination.

Other things you’ll need to do is to make sure that young children and pets are not allowed to enter the kitchen while food is undergoing preparation. It’s also important to update yourself on food labelling guidelines and the most common allergen ingredient regulations. Most of this information can be covered in a level 2 food and hygiene course.

Register your premises

Your premises will need to be registered with the local authority’s environmental health service before you start trading. There isn’t a cost for this and your food preparation area may be inspected for suitability.

Here’s some other things that you’ll need to consider for your home cake baking business:

  • Consider public liability insurance to cover against claims for injury, loss or damage.
  • Inform your landlord or mortgage lender as you may need to get permission before operating a business from home.
  • Have a marketing strategy to attract customers. Think about which social media platforms you want to use, whether you wish to have a website or even use paid advertising.
  • Make sure you keep track of all your income and expenditure. This will make it easier when completing an annual self-assessment or tax return.

Finally, it’s worth noting that this is just a brief guide to help you get started. For all the latest information regarding food hygiene, health and safety regulations, you should contact your local authority’s environmental health department.

To become successful, you’ll need to think about what your unique selling point is, as there are many competitors out there. Although, this will likely depend on how serious you want to take it. Some will be happy making a small batch of tasty cakes for those in their community, whilst others may want to open their own bakery in the future.

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