Before anyone starts in as to why I bother with all the stuff -
1. Fines START at $2000 for health violations
2. Lawsuits are not fun
3. I want to advertise as "Licensed, inspected, and insured for your protection" when I'm trying to get catering business.
4. Try getting business liability insurance without this stuff
And, I'm protecting my reputation, my customers health, and my family's financial health by "doing it right".
Depending on where you live things might be easier - but at least check. A lot of guys run "businesses" without going thru all this - but all it takes is one competitor to make a phone call to the health department, or the tax man (state or fed) to question a return, or you have one customer get sick and you could lose everything.
You are actually dealing with two issues - competing in BBQ cookoffs and vending there is pretty lax. Bottling and selling sauce is a completely different issue. You can do both under one business but you need to focus on one or the other at startup.
Just my $.02 worth - your mileage may vary! :D
Southern Brethren BBQ Competition Team
"It's all about getting paid!" - Myron Mixon
"I love being hated in my hometown!" - David Hair
KingFisher Gator Rotisserie cooker, WSM, Stainless 5 burner with IR gas grill, Turkey Fryer, Weber JD Commemorative grill, slightly used Bandera chamber for future use as a cold smoker, Masterbuilt 40" insulated ELECTRIC smoker