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post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am starting a cooking class business in my home. I have a business license and a food-safety certificate. I am looking for business insurance in Los Angeles, CA. Does anyone know the rates and what I need covered? Any recommendations for insurers?

post #2 of 7

Because you are doing this in your home you will need to look at your homeowners (or renters) insurance policy and see if there is a clause in there about home based businesses.  If your current policy does not cover any liability, I strongly suggest you take out a policy for your business that gives you at least one million dollars liability coverage.  What if someone falls down your stairs and sues you, or comes down with the stomach flu after a class and again decides to sue.  You will need that liability coverage. You may never need to make a claim but you should always be prepared. 

OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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OK ... where am I going?.. and WHY am I in this handbasket??
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post #3 of 7

Talk to your current home insurer.  Chances are good that you're already covered.  Most likely, you'll need some sort of rider.

 

I should know this but don't and apologize.  You need to find out if its legal to run whatever sort of business you have from your home.  If not, that might compromise your insurance position.

 

You should incorporate your business (or form another type of business entity) to protect your personal assets in case of suit, and for a few other very good reasons as well.  That's in addition to, and not instead of insurance. 

 

You will need insurance in an adequate amount.  As a California attorney, I'm not sure if "a million dollars" is a reasonable number or not.  It depends on several things and I'm not getting into it.

 

You may want to look for a "mentor" to help you find the people you need at the level you need.  Obviously, you don't want an attorney billing at $500/hr to walk you through this stuff.  But it would certainly help to have someone with a rolodex and an actual knowledge of the City, County and State rules.  Lots of organizations and agencies set up mentor/mentee relationships.  I got my mentor in an unrelated business from the Jewish Family Services.  You don't have to be Jewish to ask them.

 

BDL


Edited by boar_d_laze - 9/24/10 at 6:37pm
post #4 of 7

Great advice posted ! California has a rep for a I am going to sue you state so I would cover your bases.Sanitation  inspection may be required also.

We must live within our system of government and this can be a big bad aspect of small biz.

My advice is to have a good legal rep on your team................

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by SupraTT View Post

I am starting a cooking class business in my home. I have a business license and a food-safety certificate. I am looking for business insurance in Los Angeles, CA. Does anyone know the rates and what I need covered? Any recommendations for insurers?

I am by no means an "expert", but based on my experience, I would STRONGLY recommend "chatting" with your local health department before going much farther, especially sine you are located in California. I could be grossly mistaken, but I believe that "culinary instruction facilities" fall within health department regulations for "food production facilities, especially as to food sanitation and residential facilities do not comply with some fundamental requirements, not the least of which is the prohibition of any "living quarters" being connected to the food production area.

 

Then there is the NSF requirement on equipment as well as sanitation with regards to "ware washing", i.e. triple sinks (wash, rinse, sanitize).

 

From dealing with insurance companies, and I carry liability insurance as a personal chef as well as a caterer, they REQUIRE all culinary activities to be performed in either a licensed, inspected, commercial facility OR in a facility controlled BY THE CLIENT.

 

But then, what do I know, I've only been doing it for a little over ten years.

 

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #6 of 7

I totally agree with PeteMcCracken.   When it comes to food, the state of CA does not play around.    I learned this by asking if I can use the term "Homemade Sauce" in my san diego catering brochure and the health department rejected me the idea.  They do not like you doing anything "Commercial" in your house or imply that it came from you house.  The laws and regulations are very tight and most likely will not give you a Health Permit.  The first step is to contact your local health department and city to see if you are zoned for this business and if they will give you permission to get a health permit.  Any commercial insurance broker can help you.  I rather have you have an arrangement with a local commercial/professional kitchen (health department approved) to "rent" their space for your classes.  I wish you the best of luck.

 

Reza

San Diego Catering


Edited by rezacatering - 11/29/10 at 6:08pm
post #7 of 7

I am not famiilar with the laws in Cal but in Florida what you are doing would be illegal.But I would start the classes and try to

get the business off the ground then worry about insurance and gov regulations. If you want to go totally legit you will probably have to secure a location set up for meal prep.

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