Catering Licensing Question

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by absolutecook, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. absolutecook


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    Sous Chef
    A colleague and I are starting a catering business this year. We are located in Nashville, TN, and I'm trying to understand what kind of licensing we will need. We aren't serving booze yet, so there's no issue there. 

    My question: 

    We plan on renting church kitchens or the farmers' market kitchen to prep for events, so we can't get a license or permit because we don't have a permanent space. Do we even need to get a license after setting up an LLC? 
  2. meezenplaz


    Likes Received:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    I don't know about Tennessee, but here in calif ( and prob most states now) having a permanent space is NOT a 

    requirement to getting a health permit for a catering business. Food trucks are licensed caterers for example.....

    So long as the church kitchen etc is health department inspected and you register it with them, it's considered a

    legal commissary for you to use to stage cook and sanitize from. Start by checking with your state and county and

    even city's health regulations for licensing and commissary requirements.

    But in virtually every stae the answer is yes, you do need a catering license the minutes you prepare potentially

    hazardous foods for transport and public consumption. The exception to the rule ( again, consult your local authority) is cooking and prepping etc everything on the event premises. But that requirement can vary as well.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
    absolutecook likes this.