What Are the Different Types of Food Businesses That You Can Start?

Many people hear about the food business and immediately think of a restaurant. But, there are many types of food establishments that you can start.

Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Restaurant
  • Bakery
  • Food Truck
  • Cafe
  • Bar
  • Coffee Shop
  • Catering Services
  • Fast Food Franchise
  • Ice Cream Parlor
  • Food Delivery Services
  • Food Ingredients Manufacturing
  • Food Processing

Regardless of the type of food business you want to start, we can help you register it legally. We discuss the different entity types businesses can be, but LLC’s are very common for first time food businesses owners to choose.

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What Do You Need to Start a Food Business LLC?

Starting a food business requires careful planning and consistent effort. This is a competitive market where it is difficult to stand out.

You need to have a solid business plan and strategy before you start your food business.

No matter what type of food business you are starting, here’s what you need to do to start a food business from scratch.

Assess Your Skills and Business Feasibility

To start your food business, you need to first identify your skills and capabilities and determine the feasibility of starting a food business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Why do I want to start a food business?
  • What is it that I can offer?
  • What niche can I enter and be successful in?
  • Which location(s) would I serve?

Decide on the type of food business you want to start and what type of food products you want to offer to customers.

Offer a Unique Value Proposition

The food industry is extremely competitive, which makes it essential for you to make sure that you stand out. For that, you should offer a unique value proposition to your customers.

Here are some ideas to do something different:

  • Offer a fusion menu combining two or more popular cuisines.
  • Experiment with traditional dishes and create new recipes.
  • Design and decorate your restaurant/cafe with a unique theme or concept.
  • Offer some other activities like books, board games, conversation starters, etc.
  • Combine two businesses (example: a restaurant and an art gallery).

Basically, do something different to attract customers and run a successful food establishment.

Consult the Websites of the FDA and State Government for a List of Requirements

Before you start a food business, it is important to learn about all of the regulations that you have to follow and the permits you will need.

Retail food establishments do not fall under the purview of the FDA and are regulated by the state or local governments. The FDA, on the other hand, regulates most food and food ingredients.

Check out the websites of both the FDA and local regulatory bodies to gather information on:

  • Regulations related to your specific food business
  • Licenses and permits required for your food business
  • Good food manufacturing best practices
  • Labeling and packaging requirements and best practices
  • Other compliance requirements

You should be aware of all the legal and regulatory requirements for the specific type of food business that you want to start.

Draft a Marketing Plan

To start a food business successfully, you need the right people to discover your business using a solid marketing plan.

Try these marketing strategies to promote your new food business:

  • Social Media Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Promotional Discount Offers
  • Local SEO
  • Paid Ads

Make sure that you have both pre-launch and post-launch marketing strategies in your business plan. Offering launch-specific discounts for your new business is also a great way to get customers to visit your business.

Decide on the Legal Business Structure

To start your food business, you need to pick a legal entity type and formally register your business with the state and federal governments.

Here are the different types of business structures that you can choose from:


While all of these business entities have their own pros and cons, forming an LLC is one of the best and most common options for a food business startup.

Forming a food business LLC provides personal liability protection, management flexibility, and some tax benefits that other types of businesses don’t.

GovDocFiling can help you finish all the legal and regulatory formalities and paperwork to provide a hassle-free experience.

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Step-by-Step Process for Starting a Food Business LLC

Hopefully, you will heed our advice and go with an LLC structure for your new food business. However, even if you pick another entity type, we can make the formation process easier for you.

Here is the step-by-step process of how to start a food business LLC:

Step 1

Pick a Type of Food Business and Offerings

Decide on the type of food business you want to start and what menu items you will offer. Determine whether you will provide food delivery services, catering services, or any other services.

Step 2

Choose a Location

Choose a location where you want to establish your restaurant or cafe or any food business that you choose. You will need to look for good properties in the area and pick one where you expect a higher footfall, like a market area. Also, research neighboring food businesses and make sure you offer something that others don’t.

Step 3

Find Suppliers for Food and Other Items

You will need a regular supply of fresh food ingredients for your food business, so it is important to find and select the right suppliers. You can contact the local farmers and vendors or choose to grow your own ingredients. You will also need vendors to furnish your place and for all of the equipment you will need.

Also, keep the costs for supplies in mind. Experts claim that food costs should ideally be less than 35% of your total costs.

Step 4

Choose Your Legal Business Structure as LLC

Choosing an LLC is one of the best ways to start your food business. It provides you with enough flexibility while saving you from personal liabilities. LLCs also have comparatively easier compliance requirements and paperwork, making it easier to establish one.

You can also choose to form a Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, or Corporation.

Step 5

Use GovDocFiling for Federal and State Filings

You will need to file Articles of Organization, get a Federal Tax ID (EIN), and draft an LLC Operating Agreement to start a food business LLC. Let GovDocFiling handle all of the required paperwork including filing forms and taking care of other documentation for you.

Step 6

Get the Required Business Licenses and Permits

To start your food business LLC, you need to get all the required licenses and permits to start your business. These requirements will differ by city and state, so you will need to check the requirements in your specific city and county on the government websites.

Licenses you may need include:

  • Liquor license,
  • Food service license,
  • Food handler’s permit,
  • Certificate of Occupancy

Also, get legal counsel to make sure you adhere to all food regulations, health and safety code, etc. Check the FDA guidelines for your specific type of business to get all the details.

Step 7

Open a Bank Account for Your Business

When you open a food business LLC, you need to have a separate bank account for your business. To create a bank account, you will need an EIN (Employer Identification Number) or tax ID. You will also need the business formation documents.

Step 8

Hire Cooking and Waiting Staff

To run a successful food business, the most important thing is food. Start your search for a good head chef months ahead of time and do your diligence before you hire one. You also need well-trained waiting and cooking staff, so make sure you start searching in advance.

Use job boards and job-search websites like LinkedIn and Monster for your search. You can even go for more niche websites like Snagajob or go through college job databases.

Step 9

Invest in Tools and Supplies

If you decide to start a retail food establishment, you will need to invest in a good point of sale system (POS) for orders management and payment processing. TouchBistro POS, Lightspeed Restaurant POS, Clover POS, and Square for Restaurants are some good options to consider.

You will also need to invest in cold storage, kitchen appliances, cookware, glassware, utensils, cleaning supplies, etc.

Step 10

Build an Online Presence for Your Food Business

Social media is a good way to stay in touch with your target customers and share offers and discounts. You should also register your business with local directories and food delivery apps to reach more people and get more business.

Congratulations! Now you know how to start a food business LLC. This is the time when you actually start the process and get right to it.

Focus on creating a winning marketing and business plan. When you are ready to legally form the business in your state, we can take care of all of the legal filings.

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Why Should You Choose GovDocFiling for Starting a Food Business LLC?

Whether you want to get into the food truck business or start a restaurant, you will need to do the required paperwork to register your business.

GovDocFiling can take care of all of the legal and regulatory requirements and do all the paperwork on your behalf.

With GovDocFiling, you will get the following benefits:

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an example of a tax ID number?

A federal Tax ID Number is an identification number used by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to administer tax laws. This number is issued either by the IRS or Social Security Administration (SSA). A business Tax ID number is required on tax return forms.

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How do I get an EIN application?

An Employer Identification Number is a nine-digit number that identifies your business. It works much the same way your social security number does. If your company has employees, is a corporation or partnership, has a Keogh Plan or fits one of several other situations, it must have its own EIN.

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How many EIN numbers can I have?

As a business owner, you probably know your company needs an EIN (or Tax ID Number) issued by the IRS for tax purposes. But what if you own multiple businesses or operate different divisions of the same entity?

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What is the purpose of a tax ID number?

Your business is going to need to file income taxes. The Internal Revenue Service uses Tax Identification Numbers to distinguish between individuals, business, and nonprofit organizations, but business tax ID numbers should be distinct from your personal federal tax ID number.

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What does it mean to have a tax ID number?

For the IRS to conduct its business, it must have an easy way to identify each individual and business. To do this, they require each individual and business to have a tax ID number.

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How does an SSN differ from a tax ID?

A social security number (SSN) is a tax code used by an individual, while a tax ID is a nine-digit tax code for a business entity. For a business entity, a tax ID is usually called an EIN.

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What is a DBA?

If you’ve ever considered working for yourself, or starting your own business, you may have wondered: what is a DBA? Is a fictitious business name the same as a DBA? What are the benefits of a DBA to my business and myself?

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Can a DBA be filed for all business types?

Each type of business entity has clear advantages and disadvantages. Can a DBA be filed for all business types? In most cases, yes; but understanding what a DBA is and what it’s limitations are will help you decide if it’s worth

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How many DBA names can I register?

DBA application filing is a process overseen by state DBA laws and local government, protecting the public from nefarious business owners. DBA is an abbreviation for “doing business as,” and is also referred to as a fictitious name or trade name.

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Do I need a DBA?

If you’ve ever considered freelancing, or starting your own business, you should take a few moments to answer this very important question: Do I need a DBA? Not every small business owner needs to pursue DBA application filing, but

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Are any words prohibited in a DBA name?

DBA is an acronym that stands for “doing business as.” You may be wondering “do I need a DBA?” If you intend to do business using a name other than your legal business name, you need a DBA. DBAs are common for sole proprietors or partnerships that do not want to use the owners’ legal names to do business.

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If you’re starting a business, there are more then a few abbreviations you’ll need to remember. Filing a DBA application, or applying for an EIN, are two common steps for new business owners. However, they are not the same thing, and as a business owner you should know the difference.

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What is an LLC?

A limited liability company, commonly referred to as an LLC, combines the taxation benefits of a partnership with the limited liability of a corporation. Instead of partners, LLC business owners are called members, and there can be several, or a single member.

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What are the benefits to filing for an EIN as an LLC?

A limited liability corporation is one in which the members aren’t personally responsible for any company liabilities or debt. Limited liabilities have the protections of a corporation but the flexibility of a partnership. If your business is listed as a limited liability corporation, you can benefit further by applying for an Employer Identification Number.

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What’s the difference between an LLC and a corporation?

The fine print that separates a limited liability company (LLC) from a corporation can be overwhelming for new business owners or entrepreneurs. While the minutia of these details might be best suited for a legal advisor or accountant, the broad differences are fairly easy to understand, and they might be enough to help you make a judgment

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What happens if I apply for the wrong LLC?

Limited Liability Companies (LLC) are popular business structures because they offer personal liability protection for members and don’t have all the formalities that corporations do. LLCs also enjoy pass-through taxation, which means the company doesn’t pay federal income taxes; instead,

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What legal documents do I need to start an LLC?

For entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own business, forming an LLC is an ideal option, as such an entity provides the owners protection from lawsuits, business debts and other business indiscretions. However, in order to obtain that protection, there are a number of documents that the business owner or owners must file with the state government prior to conducting business.

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What are the differences between a partnership and a Limited Liability Company?

A Limited Liability Company is a legal entity all its own, while a partnership is owned by two or more people who share legal responsibility of the business entity. In a partnership, the business does not possess a legal identity outside of the business owners. A Limited Liability Company offers more flexibility in terms of operations and personal asset protection.

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What is a C-Corporation?

A C-Corporation is just anther way of saying corporation. It means the same thing. Corporations are incorporated business entities that file Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State or a similar government agency.

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Can a C-Corp have multiple owners?

There are certain C-Corp requirements to meet whether you want to start a corporation with one shareholder or dozens. It is certainly possible to apply for a C-Corporation EIN with multiple owners, and when forming a C-Corp in this manner, there are a few points to keep in mind.

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Why is a C-Corp taxed differently than an LLC or S-Corp?

Unlike other business structures, C-Corp taxation is significant in that corporations are taxable entities. Corporations are taxed like an individual and contribute according to corporate income, and then again on shareholder tax returns. This is commonly called ‘double taxation’.

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What is an S-Corp?

S-Corporations, sometimes called S-Corps, can be useful ways for business owners to avoid what’s called “double taxation”, while also protecting shareholder assets from personal liability. It’s a mix of advantages drawn from other types of business entities; and it isn’t nearly as complicated or time consuming as you might think to establish.

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How do I file to become an S-Corporation?

Before we dive into how to file to become an S-corporation, let’s take a look at what an S-corporation is, exactly, and why you may want to establish this type of business entity for your company. S-corporations are similar to partnerships, or sole proprietorships, at least in terms of how the company will affect you financially.

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What is a disqualified S-Corporation?

There’s No Such Thing as a Disqualified S Corporation. Luckily, S corporation disqualification is more of an urban legend than fact. In 2010, Congress attempted to pass a measure that would have disqualified some S corporations, primarily small businesses, from using S corp tax structures when filing.

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Want to Start a Food Business LLC? Do It the Right Way

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