Complete Guide to Starting a Catering Company at Home

Do you want to launch a home-based catering company? If yes, continue reading to learn more about the licenses you'll need, the procedures to follow, and the paperwork needed for the same.

FSSAI has therefore said that selling home-made eatables items without a license or registration will invite a fine of up to ₹5 lakh and imprisonment for up to 6 months. FSSAI registration is required for companies with sales below ₹12 lakh and a license is compulsory for companies with sales above ₹12 lakh. 

If you enjoy baking and cooking, you might want to think about starting a home-based catering company. This way you can use  your passion to earn decent money on the side by beginning a home-based online catering company. However, starting a home-based eatable company involves extensive planning and research, just like starting any other type of companies. Additionally, you must make sure you adhere to all statutory regulations for a home-based catering company.

Why Starting a Catering Company at Home Is a Good Idea?

A home-based catering company has a lot of potential for success. Home-cooked meals are typically preferred by office workers and students who reside far away from home. Furthermore, since the companies is run out of your house, you have the opportunity to reduce expenses and keep costs at a minimum.

You can build a successful company model out of a home-based catering company if you can put up an efficient delivery system. To get the meals delivered, you can also work with dabbawalas and other tiffin-delivery services. The third option is to start a small mess in your house where you serve the meals you prepare without providing delivery services.

Licenses Required to Start a Catering Company

Here’s a quick look at a few licenses and registrations you will require before you start a catering company from home.

  1. Shops and Establishment Certificate: Required in certain states, such as Maharashtra if you want to open a mess at home.
  2. FSSAI Approval: A license from the Safety and Standards Authority of India is mandatory for all eatable-related companies in India. Depending on the nature and size of your company, you will have to decide on which category of license you want to get. In most cases, home based eatable service start-ups will only require a basic registration with the FoSCos FSSAI.
  3. GST Registration: If your establishment generates revenue that exceeds the annual registration threshold, you will need to opt for new gst registration online. Once you receive a GSTIN, you will also need to file all your returns on time and ensure compliance.
  4. Trade License: Catering companies might also require a trade license, especially if you plan to operate as a cloud kitchen. You can apply for and obtain this through the local municipal office with the help of Vakilsearch experts.
  5. Fire and Safety License: Since you will be cooking with fire, you may be required to get clearance from the Fire Department.
  6. NOC from the Health Department/Society in which you live.
  7. Brand Registration India: In case you want to maintain brand exclusivity, you can also opt to trademark your name or logo. However, this step can be opted for later on, when your brand starts growing, and you have the cash to spare.
  8. Signage License: You will need this license, from your local municipal corporation if you wish to advertise your products.
  9. Eating House license: If you wish to run a mess at home, you might require an eating house license. To obtain this license, you will need approval from the State Police Commissioner.
  10. Environment Clearance: In some instances, you will also need an EC Certificate from the State Pollution Control Board.

Also, to know more about state-specific licenses and registrations, get in touch with the experts at Vakilsearch.

Things to Do Before you Start a Catering Company at Home

  1. If you want to start a mess at home, you need to establish the appropriate ambiance. In such circumstances, you will need to designate the whole room for your visitors and earmark a place for cleanup after meals.
  2. Examining your kitchen to see whether it needs any modifications is another crucial step to take before starting such a company. You may even need to upgrade your kitchen equipment or purchase larger utensils if you plan to feed a significant number of people.
  3. You should consider your packaging strategy as well. Make sure you give it some attention because this will be the first thing customers will notice when they purchase your meal. To increase your trustworthiness, display your food & safety licence on the packaging.
  4. Next, evaluate your skill and determine if you will need help in the kitchen. If so, recruit some staff to help you with the eatable preparation.
  5. Marketing is an integral part of such catering companies. Plan a social media strategy to spread the name of your company. Promote yourself on social media, start a blog and maintain a website to attract customers.

Documents Required to Start a Catering company

  1. ID proof of the applicant
  2. Address proof of the applicant
  3. Proof of address of the company location
  4. NOC from the owner, in case the premise is rented
  5. Bank account statements
  6. TAN
  7. PAN card and Aadhar card
  8. GST certificate
  9. Passport size photos
  10. Site plan and layout of the premises
  11. Water quality report
  12. eatable category list

Guide to Starting a Catering Company

  1. To identify your target market, comprehend their wants, and find key delivery locations, by conducting in-depth market research.
  2. Select a menu based on the location. For instance, if you reside in a town with a university, you might want to increase the number of fast eatable options on the list. If you reside in a location where there are numerous offices, concentrate more on providing satisfying and healthy lunch options to attract clients.
  3. Next, select a memorable and catchy name for the company.
  4. You must also decide the forms of payment you will accept. Enable BHIM and UPI payment options to expand your audience.
  5. Stock up on everything you’ll need, and make sure you have enough cooking supplies to prepare large quantities of eatable.
  6. The next step is to go about getting all of the above-mentioned licenses.

How Can VakilSearch Help

  • Our team of legal experts will help you incorporate and register your home based catering company with ease.
  • Our experts will also identify all the licenses and registrations that you need to start a catering company from home. Following which our lawyers will help you with all the necessary documents.

Furthermore, our team will also assist you by providing services related to incorporation, tax registration, and filing and obtaining FSSAI licenses.


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