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Catering, Vending and Cooking For The Masses. this forum is OnTopic. A resource to help with catering, vending and just cooking for large parties. Topics to include Getting Started, Ethics, Marketing, Catering resources, Formulas and recipes for cooking for large groups.


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Unread 05-01-2013, 10:03 AM   #1
bigbeef24
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I landed my first job with bbq. Its providing bbq to a catering company for their events. Would it be best to set up a LLC and get my EIN for future jobs? When applying for the LLC what category would I want to select? Is there any red tape to get through because I dont operate out of a commercial kitchen? It is so true that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life.

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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:35 AM   #2
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not true..it is work
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
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It is all the other things you have to do that make it work. I would set up an LLC, just to CYA. If you are providing food for parties, I would look into using their kitchen to prep your meat. I am surprised they don't require you to use their facilities. They are just as liable, if not more so, for what the are serving. I don't know the local laws, but if you want this to be legit, check with your local HD. Yes there will be red tape in the beginning.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:35 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeef24 View Post
It is so true that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life.
Like Big Belly said, it's still work. A lot of work.

I've been self-employed my entire adult life and have loved everything I've done, but to say it doesn't feel like work is a stretch. In the end, you probably work even harder, but the difference is how you feel about doing the work since you're doing it for yourself and not just punching a clock and making money for somebody else.

If you're successful, yes, every day feels a lot less like work and more like spending your time doing something you enjoy, even if it is a whole heck of a lot of work. If you're unsuccessful, the tables are turned and because everything falls on your shoulders, the stress can be incredible, and even doing something you love can end up becoming the biggest chore in the world.

Just some food for thought.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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The filing for an LLC has nothing to do with a commercial kitchen. It is simply setting up a legal business entity. Yes you are better off to have an LLC as the name implies it limits your liability shall something happen. In NY even though you set up an LLC that doesn't give you the right to operate a business or sell product. In order to provide product either wholesale or retail you need to have a proper business permit. If you are processing meat and packaging for sale then most likely you will fall under the jurisdicition of the department of agriculture as a meat processor. If you are making an end product for sale or distribution then you fall under the guidance of the department of health. Either way you will be required to prove that all prep/cooking/holding/packaging is done in a permitted commercial kitchen. Dont let this discourage you as there are facilities that rent our commercial kitchen space. Frankly I am surprised the catering company didn't ask if you are permitted. As others have mentioned above they will also hold the liability shall something go wrong. When I first started in order to recieve my catering permit as a BBQ caterer I had to show that we were 100% self contained, practically a commercial kitchen on wheels and that all food was prepped and cooked on site.

I know guys who do catering/cooking without these items and it is a risk they inherit. Have something go wrong or get caught by the dept of health and you can all but kiss any future in the food biz goodbye. But there is a cost associated by doing everything legit, and only you can determine if the work from the caterer would justify spending the money..

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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #6
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Spend a few $$$$ and talk to an attorney and an accountant to figure out the best operating entity for you. It will pay off in the long run.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marubozo View Post
Like Big Belly said, it's still work. A lot of work.

I've been self-employed my entire adult life and have loved everything I've done, but to say it doesn't feel like work is a stretch. In the end, you probably work even harder, but the difference is how you feel about doing the work since you're doing it for yourself and not just punching a clock and making money for somebody else.

If you're successful, yes, every day feels a lot less like work and more like spending your time doing something you enjoy, even if it is a whole heck of a lot of work. If you're unsuccessful, the tables are turned and because everything falls on your shoulders, the stress can be incredible, and even doing something you love can end up becoming the biggest chore in the world.

Just some food for thought.
Very good post...

What are you self-employed doing?
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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:02 PM   #8
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Spend a few $$$$ and talk to an attorney and an accountant to figure out the best operating entity for you. It will pay off in the long run.
This is good advice. I set mine up myself, and they are not hard to do, around here is costs $400.00 for a lawyer to do it. Although it is not hard to do, it was time consuming. I had mine written out the wrong way the first time I tried, which meant I had to go back and do it again. I think the money would have been worth having the lawyer do it.

There is nothing really legally difficult to setting up an LLC, the lawyer won't do anything different than what you yourself would do, or what you could get on legal zoom for around a hundred bucks. It is the convence you are paying for.
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Unread 05-02-2013, 04:22 PM   #9
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Why pay Legal Zoom? Just go to Office Depot, Staples, or online for even less money. You're going to get exactly what you pay for with any of these, a document with blanks to fill in, no different than a will document. It might work for some of the people, but I guarantee it is not going to be the best for everyone. When you pay a professional, hopefully you are paying for their advice and expertise, not just some paper or the convenience of someone else filing the form for you.
One size truly does not fit all.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 11:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbeef24 View Post
I landed my first job with bbq. Its providing bbq to a catering company for their events. Would it be best to set up a LLC and get my EIN for future jobs? When applying for the LLC what category would I want to select? Is there any red tape to get through because I dont operate out of a commercial kitchen? It is so true that if you do something you love you will never work a day in your life.

Thanks,
Bigbeef24

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Your better off flying under the radar until you can see just how much work it really is and realize that becoming legal is the main reason most sane people DO NOT do this.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 12:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bbq Bubba View Post
Your better off flying under the radar until you can see just how much work it really is and realize that becoming legal is the main reason most sane people DO NOT do this.
Sorry You lost me. I consider myself a very sane person. I became legal, did all the right things, Worked with a major BBQ mentor, followed "his" successful business plan, grew my business slowly, word of mouth, networking, working events. We are still growing and each year we turn a larger and larger number of tickets. I am certainly glad I DID do this! I don't disuade anyone. If you love it, give it a try. But when trying, realize you will make mistakes that will cost you money, learn from them! Set yourself up with someone that has had success, learn from them! Listen to your customers, Learn from them!

It is a learning process that if done correctly can be very rewarding, and YES, feel like very little work!
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Unread 05-03-2013, 12:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayman1 View Post
When you pay a professional, hopefully you are paying for their advice and expertise, not just some paper or the convenience of someone else filing the form for you.
One size truly does not fit all.
IF you are comfortable and have the time, get the LLC yourself. Use legal zoom, or call your state, most states have the documents online. Staples and office depot, have generic papers that ARE NOT the same documents used from state to state. Legal Zoom will get you the documents that you need for your state. BUT they will also try to sell you upgraded packages.

I guess I'm somewhat lost on the use of the attorney for the LLC, other than making you feel comfortable or for convenience.
What advice and expertise can an attorney offer you on setting up an LLC for a BBQ business? LLC's are not rocket science. A small business course on business set up will walk you through the same steps and offer you for advice and expertise.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 10:14 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cynfulsmokersbbq View Post
IF you are comfortable and have the time, get the LLC yourself. Use legal zoom, or call your state, most states have the documents online. Staples and office depot, have generic papers that ARE NOT the same documents used from state to state. Legal Zoom will get you the documents that you need for your state. BUT they will also try to sell you upgraded packages.

I guess I'm somewhat lost on the use of the attorney for the LLC, other than making you feel comfortable or for convenience.
What advice and expertise can an attorney offer you on setting up an LLC for a BBQ business? LLC's are not rocket science. A small business course on business set up will walk you through the same steps and offer you for advice and expertise.
very good advice....this is what I did. We are listed as a single member LLC in pennsylvania now. The simplest tax filing entity just a schedule C basically on our 1040. All states are different so do lots of research.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 10:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by cynfulsmokersbbq View Post
Very good post...

What are you self-employed doing?
I missed this post the other day. Most recently, I've been a writer and web developer. Sold that company about six months ago and now I'm in the process of opening my first BBQ restaurant.
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