I want to start my own food business. Now what?
Determine which agency regulates the type of business you want to start:
- Restaurants, including catering operations, are regulated by county health departments.
- Meat and meat-containing products are regulated by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Meat and Poultry Inspection Service.
- Packaged foods other than meat products are regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Some can be produced in a home setting. No license required, but inspections can be made.
- Seafood is regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Wholesale seafood dealers must fulfill training requirements.
- Dairy products, including milk, frozen dessert, cheese and butter, are regulated by the NCDA&CS Food and Drug Protection Division. Licensing is required.
- Wineries are regulated by several agencies, including the Federal Tax and Trade Bureau. Consult the Starting a Commercial Winery guide for more information.
- Farmers do/do not need a business license to sell commodities grown on their farm.
Food and Drug Protection Division links
My business will be:
- Commercial Business (product will be manufactured in a processing plant)
- Home Processor (product will be produced in your home kitchen)
- N.C. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
- FDA Good Manufacturing Practice Guidelines
- NCSU Food Safety Online Courses
- NCSU Entrepreneur Assistance Program
- Business Link North Carolina - License, Permit, and Resource Assistance
- NCDA&CS' Marketing Division Agribusiness Development Office
- Apply for Got To Be NC Membership Today!
- Shared-use commercial kitchens
- Directory of establishments that slaughter and/or process meats for farmers
- Pet Food or Treats