Does a personal chef need a business license/ LLC and insurance?

Discussion in 'Professional Catering' started by wsw1993x, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. wsw1993x

    wsw1993x

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    Sous Chef
    I have a full time job as a sous chef and am wondering about being a personal chef on the side. Would I need to have a business license and insurance to do this? I plan on doing something small such as handing out cards for people to contact me and set up a formal dinner at their home for 10 people. All food will be prepped and cooked in the location.
     
  2. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Where?
     
  3. wsw1993x

    wsw1993x

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    Georgia
     
  4. sgsvirgil

    sgsvirgil

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    It varies from state to state. The best way to find out is go ask your local or state health department(s). From a quick google search, Georgia does appear to require a business license and you must meet all the requirements for retail food service. Whether or not insurance coverage is one of those requirements, I don't know. Your best option is to contact your local or state health departments and get the information from them.

    Even if carrying insurance is not required, it is always a good idea to have liability insurance. The cost shouldn't be too steep....maybe $20 - $50 a month. Without insurance, your personal assets may be at risk should something happen to one of your guests.

    I know a few people who operate as private chefs. They are fully licensed, fully insured and make a very respectable buck doing it. Sometimes, they throw a few bucks my way in exchange for a good wine menu. :)

    Good luck.

    PS

    As for the LLC thing, that's where you should talk to a tax attorney. Generally speaking, all revenue generated through an LLC is taxable as personal income. This may be a good idea under certain circumstances and not so good under others. But, what many people do not know is you can form a single member LLC and choose be taxed like an S-Corp.

    How an LLC is defined in your state may be different than how its defined elsewhere. So, you should really speak with a tax attorney before you make any decisions like this. Then again, a decision like this really doesn't matter too much until you start making money.

    Good luck. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
  5. chefross

    chefross

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    I'm not sure about your laws but where I'm at I have to pay SS, and other insurances from the money I make. I also carry liability insurance, but as far as an actual business license....no.
    As to where to prepare the food, it can't be done in a residential house, unless, of course, the kitchen in that house has been approved for retail food prep. I too prepare and cook in other people's homes or at our town hall. I have a serv-saf certification as well.