I have been spending a bit of time reading through legal mumbo jumbo to prepare for the next step of my journey into entrepreneurship. To set up a cottage food operation to sell jams and jellies I’ve made in my home kitchen, I have to submit forms (with checks attached) to no less than three government entities. And those are not the only ducks I must get in a row. My new business needs a bank account, business cards, etc. There is a common theme to all of these things…a business name.
Before I spend all the time to complete forms and pay fees I need to nail down my business name. It would be most unfortunate to use a name that someone else had already claimed. So the next step was of course to file my fictitious business name or DBA (doing business as).
The place to file is with the county clerk. The first step is to search business names to see if yours is already taken. I was pleased to see that my chosen name, Practical Providence, was not in use.
The form is fairly simple and the instructions are easy to follow. So very soon I had completed my form online and printed in quadruplicate to mail in with my check. Additionally, once the County Clerk – Recorder approves your filing, you will have to publicize it and provide proof of publication.
I’m sure a little information sharing goes on, because I received an offer from a local paper to take care of the publication and proof. So, step one done!
I’m done with the county for now I think. Next, I deal with the city…
I have been making and canning jams and jellies, pickles, and other items for a few years now. I have been generous with my products and the happy recipients always tell me I should sell them. Well this year, my fair state of California passed a new law that makes selling some of my handiwork possible.
I speak, of course, of Assembly bill AB 1616 which became effective January 1, 2013. Basically, the bill allows you to use your home kitchen to prepare some food items for sale to the local public. They call this kind of business a Cottage Food Operation, (“Oh, a cottage! How charming. A little cottage is always very snug.”)When I found out about this I was certainly excited and began to research the possibilities now opened up to me.
The first thing I looked at was the approved foods list. I wanted to know if the things I wanted to make were approved. Yes! Jams, jellies and fruit butters were on the list. I was surprised and somewhat inspired by the different items on the list. But, I’ll start small and add to the product lineup in the future.
Peach-Jalapeno Jelly and Spiced Peaches
My research into Cottage Food Operations and starting a small business (and blogging) continues. I have a product and a name and I’m moving forward.
I have always wanted to write a great story. The first problem I always come up against is knowing what to write. The second problem I run into is switching to edit mode before I’ve finished, this usually leads to the death of whatever great idea I may have had. I’ve lived a few years now and I think perhaps I have enough experience to share. Blogging seems the most reasonable format to begin. So here I go.
I was kicking around ideas for the name of this blog for a few days. My first few ideas weren’t available. I was glad I could come up with something someone else thought was cool too, but I was also frustrated. And then, one night I woke up with the name, Practical Providence. I think it was a divine inspiration.
I looked up the word, Practical, and for an adjective it is really action focused. Pertaining to, consisting of, involving or resulting from action or ordinary activities, business, or work; designed for actual use or engaged or experienced in actual work are all included in the definition. The word, Providence meanings include a manifestation of divine care or a prudent management of resources or foresight.
Perhaps I’m unique in my fascination with the English language, but I really like what this portends for the future of my blog.