How to Start a Catering Business

Nov 16, 2017
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Written by Mikail Mermi

Starting your own business can be an exciting yet daunting experience, allowing you to be your own boss. There is also great potential for success. To effectively tap-into this potential, you will need to take a number of steps and precautions.

If you’re also wondering what other types of businesses you could start, you can also check out our comprehensive list of business ideas.

How to Start a Catering Business

Registering a business name

An important first step for any business is to decide on a name. Before you register your business name, you must first check if it is already taken. Once you have come up with your unique business name, it is recommended that you secure it through registration.

It is also important that you decide on the structure of your business from the onset. To find out how to decide your business structure, check out our previous guide.

Trademark your business name and logo

If you want to protect your business name from being used by others, you can receive greater legal protection through a trademark. You can also trademark the logo of your business to be unique and stand-out. Our experienced trademark attorneys can assist you in protecting your unique business name and logo.

Sole-finder or co-founder?

Starting a business with friends or other business partners may seem simple from the onset, but could lead to great damage and possibly a fall-out in the future. If you decide to co-found a business, these risks could include disagreeing on fundamental business decisions, the sharing of confidential information or business secrets, and even the end of the business through a fall-out.

For this reason, some groundwork must be put in place from the start. This can be done through a number of agreements. One of these is a Co-Founder Agreement which formalises the business relationship and sets out the rights and responsibilities of each co-founder. The advantage of formalising such an agreement early-on is that your business will be protected and prepared to handle any future business disputes. A Non-disclosure Agreement is another step you may take to protect your business. This is a document that allows your business to safeguard any confidential information.

Hiring Staff

If you’re looking to grow and expand, it is ideal to hire staff who can work for your business. Before hiring new staff, it is important to have the right documentation in place. Consider how many employees you are looking to hire and what type of employment that you will be giving them, such as:

  • Full time;
  • Part time;
  • Casual;
  • Seasonal; or
  • Contractual.

For the right employment agreements for your business, LawPath provides a range of employment agreements as well as other essential employment documents.

Hiring or purchasing equipment

Depending on what you will be cooking and where, you will need to purchase the right equipment for storage, transportation, cooking, serving and cleaning. Some items, however, may be too expensive to purchase when starting up your business. Due to this, you may want to consider renting the equipment with a hire purchase agreement. This allows you to buy items you normally could not afford and enables you to generate business revenue despite not having paid in full.

Creating a food safety program

In accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code (the Code), there are a number of additional requirements for all food businesses. These include checking their food for hazards, creating, documenting and complying with food safety programs to rectify identified hazards, and to take all reasonable measures to not handle food or let the food come into contact with a surface that would likely compromise the safety and suitability of food.

Next Steps

Starting a business can be exciting and very rewarding. However, being your own boss can be overwhelming. Not only are you required to provide excellent service to customers but also to carry out business administration tasks like generating invoices and submitting tax reports. A big benefit is that you don’t have to face this struggle alone. You can always contact one of our startup lawyers or business lawyers specialised in this specific area.

Kickstart your catering business with the right legal protection. Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 529 728 to learn more about what you need to start-up your business, obtain a fixed-fee quote from our network of 700+ expert lawyers and have your legal questions answered.

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