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How to Start Your Own Cookie Business From Home

Updated on October 30, 2012

Do you enjoy baking? Would you like the freedom of working from home or working for yourself in a small bakery of your own? If so, you might want to start your own cookie business. You can start as a home-based business or work from a small location near your home, setting your own hours and making your own decisions about what products to carry. You can indulge in the creativity that comes with baking while reaping the benefits of working for yourself. And when you start your own cookie business, you invest in the opportunity for unforeseeable growth in your income and passion for your work.

Of course, you'll need to make a lot of decisions before you can start your own cookie business. Some of the things that you will want to decide are:

  • Where the cookie business will be based. Are you going to be based from your own home or from an out-of-home location? Are you going to sell items through the web? In either case, what kind of permits will you need to be allowed to start your own cookie business in this location?
  • What is your niche? You can start a general cookie business but you'll be better off if you find a niche. This may be in unique packaging of your cookies. It may also be in unique ingredients, cookie shapes or decoration. It may even be simply in the marketing. Find a way to set yourself apart from the competition before you even start your own cookie business and you're more likely to succeed.
  • What kind of start-up capital will you need to start your own cookie business? How will you get it? You may need to buy baking materials, pay for marketing and hire an employee or two. Or you may have what you need. Look realistically at the financial aspect before you start your own cookie business.
  • What are you goals? Set one month, six month, one year and five year goals so that you have an idea of what you really want to do with your cookie business.

Once you have made some of these important decisions and decided that you are ready to move forward and start your own cookie business, here are some of the first steps that you'll need to take:

  • Take care of the legalities. You need business permits and tax information so get it before you start your cookie business.
  • Set up a website. Whether or not you're selling items online, you'll need a website for marketing. If you're catering to a national clientele, make sure that the site is search engine optimized to turn up when people search for cookies online. Include contact information, ordering information and some fun stuff for your customers to enjoy on your site.
  • Create your product list. You can always add new cookies to the list or offer specials but you should have a base of standard cookies that are your major product. Set your prices and get good photos for marketing purposes.
  • Spread the word. People need to know that you have a cookie business. Direct marketing through email and cold calling, getting and passing out business cards and attending networking events are all common ways of spreading the word. You may also want to begin networking with local grocery stores and specialty food stores to see if you can get your cookies - or at least your new brochures - placed at their location. Most importantly, however, you will need to do online marketing. If you aren't sure why this is so important, there's a great article by a Cyprus Web Design firm called "How Can Online Marketing Help My Website?" that will help explain it to you.

It isn't hard to start a cookie business. And it's a career that can be rewarding; you may earn a good income or at least get the flexibility of working from home while supporting yourself. But you'll need to take it seriously and consider all of the factors involved before you start your own cookie business. That's just how the cookie crumbles!

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  • profile image

    Angie 21 months ago

    I really enjoy baking currently bake from home and everyone absolutely loves my chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin and coconut oatmeal among others; was wondering what is the best approach to market to upscale grocery stores and boutique shops? I also would love to sell my cookie dough to them too so everyone can make a fresh batch at home??? Can you please guide me on how to approach an upscale grocery store for example Wholefoods and who should I speak to? I would love to be as tactful as possible so any insight would so greatly be appreciated!!!! Thanks so much in advance....Angie

  • profile image

    Marianne 3 years ago

    Any ideas on how to sell an original cookie recipe to a large cookie manufacturing company and obtain royalties from it? My sons are competitive tennis players and I invented my chocolate chip gluten free organic health cookie recipe just for them.....they are absolutely crazy for these cookies!!! Thanks.

  • profile image

    Julie 4 years ago

    You have to check with your state as to the ins and outs of a cookie business. I lived in SC and they wouldn't allow me to bake and sell from home. Now I live in FL and they have what they call Cottage Laws, which permit you to bake and sell non hazardous (baked goods pretty much) from home, but you can't sell online or to businesses, like car dealerships, real estate offices, etc; only to individuals. They also make you label, very specifically, your products and put that you are a cottage food baker on the labels. This tells people that you aren't baking in a licensed commercial kitchen, but from your home. There is also a cap on how much money you can make per year. Check out your states laws and see if they have a Cottage Law of their own. Hope this helps. :)

  • gidannodza profile image

    gidannodza 4 years ago

    Thant you for this post, very interesting and just what I needed.

  • profile image

    Nikki 5 years ago

    Hi .!

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

    Very informative hub. I love baking and I´m thinking of making money out of this hobby. Voted up and useful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Qmarpat profile image

    Qmarpat 5 years ago from Northern,California

    That's a really nice article. I mostly make my coloful character cookies for fun. I take orders, If someone wants a particular face, or charcter-I'll make it for them. I haven't quite got pricing down, because I make them from scratch and they are huge!! I'm new here, you have a lot of hubs that's great. I'm working on gettin ten a month. I have online t-shirt and gift shops and I'm in college. I wish you continued success.

  • Shihab Mahmud profile image

    Shihab Mahmud 5 years ago from Dhaka

    Great hub.......!! Dis is Very good information

  • businessesforsale profile image

    businessesforsale 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    This is a great hub. What about all of the comments? WOW!

  • profile image

    Amber May Leigh 5 years ago

    Hi my name is amber and I'm nearly 14. I really want to start my own muffin service i have found this information really helpful but my mam says that there are certain requirements for owning a catering business for example how you cooking area or kitchen is designed. Is this correct I'm not sure also do i need to take a catering course before i begin my business i know the basics because i have been taught at school but do i need to know more in this area. Please help!

  • profile image

    mohammad milky 5 years ago

    i want to make a successful businessman in brakery as cake and wedding breadwhwere to start on .give company name with address

  • profile image

    Rebecca 5 years ago

    I am selling gourmet cookie dough as a fundraiser for my son's baseball team. These cookies are delicious! I need to sell 320 boxes in 2 weeks time. the cost is $15 for a box and you get 40 cookies for that price. any suggestions on how or where to advertise to get sales in this short amount of time?

  • profile image

    lovelybakes 5 years ago

    Sometimes you just HAVE to start out of your home and take a risk. I actually do custom cakes, but when I first got started I went way in over my head and ended up really going into debt because I tried to follow EVERY little regulation to a T... I rented a commercial kitchen, which was nearly took all my profits by itself, had to get all these licenses and then there was the marketing that I couldn't even afford after just every day overhead was covered (and if you get down to the nitty gritty, it really is ALL ABOUT THE MARKETING baby).

    I even had to get a job again in sales to just start paying off my debt and getting my back taxes paid.

    In my opinion.... "Screw it!"

    If you have to start out of your home and it's not completely legal, I know plenty of people who have worked out of their homes for awhile while trying to get their business off the ground and never had problems. However, you do take a risk because unfortunately there are jerks out there that love to butt in and ruin other people's lives just for fun or frankly because they're jealous you’re trying to be "smart" about how you get started. That way your business doesn't burn to the ground in the first few months due to overhead and the headaches of bookkeeping, marketing, and basically being a “one man show,” or just burn you out altogether (been there and burn out REALLY sucks because it's very hard to get back up completely).

    Just be careful and clean! When you start becoming profitable and have built a few supplies up, THEN rent a commercial kitchen and get licensed, etc.

    I'm sure many will disagree and that's ok! I'd rather NOT be broke than be politically correct... Thank you!

    That's my 2 cents from "EXPERIENCE" of both failure and success :-) Cheers!

  • profile image

    Duromax Generator 5 years ago

    Thanks for the ideas. I have a great cookie idea that has never been tried before, i hope to start my cookie business soon look out.

  • profile image

    alice 5 years ago

    thank you for the tips

  • Rusticliving profile image

    Elizabeth Rayen 5 years ago from California

    Happy Holidays Kathryn!

    Great article on the cookie biz. Good information as well as pointing me in the right direction. Thanks for the info!!

  • profile image

    weak 5 years ago

    its not good in philippine

  • BusinessForSale profile image

    BusinessForSale 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    sweet and tasty business idea ,like it

  • profile image

    Cookie Bouquets 5 years ago from Columbus OH

    great article Kathryn! I have my own business as well and love it! http://www.cookiebouquets.com/

  • JLBender profile image

    JLBender 5 years ago from Greensburg, PA

    This is a great article. My wife is without a job right now, so mabe she can start a cookie business. Your article is very straightforward and well writen.

  • Daddy Knows Best profile image

    Daddy Knows Best 6 years ago from Nash-Vegas

    Very enjoyable. What a 'yummy' idea. I'm afraid I would consume all of the retail stock, if you know what I mean. :)

  • profile image

    kate 6 years ago

    i want to bake cookies in home and sell on web.does anyone know if i need a permit or license for it? i live in ny and don't know anything about documents.thanks to everyone

  • profile image

    business from home 6 years ago

    A home-based cookie business owner should ideally be trained. Being professionally trained yourself would improve your business prospects. If you do not have any professional training, you might take up a short-term food safety class before venturing into the cookie business of your own. Your business plan should determine the course of your business and serve as a roadmap. Important topics that your cookie business plan should address include main objectives of your business, investment budget, strategic position, licenses, sales summary, future vision, pricing policy, competition research, market analysis and marketing strategies.

    business from home

  • profile image

    tashonna 6 years ago

    i want to open a pastry shop

  • profile image

    natcookiequeen 6 years ago

    Your hub has inspired me to finally get started looking into seriously making cookies for money. It wouldn't be a job because I love doing it! I make large quantities for my family, friends, gifts, baby shower, etc. After learning all the great info here I think I can sit down and work out some numbers.

  • NMLady profile image

    NMLady 6 years ago from New Mexico & Arizona

    Re: Needing acommercial kitchen

    Our church leases out time in their kitchen to a local woman who bakes her cookies there. She then went and got a contract with a local gourmet grocery.

  • profile image

    Jeff_McRitchie 6 years ago

    Nice Hub! I never thought about starting a cookie business. It sounds like it could be fun.

  • profile image

    Jeff_McRitchie 6 years ago

    Nice Hub! I never thought about starting a cookie business. It sounds like it could be fun.

  • cowtowngirl77 profile image

    cowtowngirl77 6 years ago

    Thanks for this good information. I love to bake cookies and will look into this possibility.

  • william.fischer29 profile image

    william.fischer29 6 years ago

    I am glad to read this very informative hub.

  • profile image

    Hämorrhoiden Hausmittel 6 years ago

    Lot of useful stuff here thanks mate=)

  • profile image

    heavenrooms 6 years ago

    Very nice hub, by the way, i really like cookies :)

  • profile image

    Jazz Festivals 6 years ago

    Great hub. I really enjoyed reading it. I have always wondered about opening a cookie business.

  • Pamela Sarzana profile image

    Pamela Sarzana 6 years ago from northern Indiana

    I would like to bake from home..I was thinking more along the line of Brownies..

  • Web World Watcher profile image

    Web World Watcher 6 years ago

    Wow, you sure do write a lot of well informed hubs across a broad range of topics. Thanks for this one.

  • profile image

    Zimmers 6 years ago

    good article and what a way to make a living! Not sure if it would work for me though, as an avid cookie eater but who knows...

  • profile image

    Ami 6 years ago

    Hopefully we'll be able to do this in Texas starting in September! Currently, it is illegal to sell any food item made in a home kitchen, but the Texas Baker's Bill is on the governor's desk. If he signs it or even does nothing (i.e. if he does not specifically veto it), then it will come into effect on September first of this year. If you want to see details, you can go here: http://www.texascottagefoodlaw.com/

    These are very good tips otherwise. I can't wait for September so I can start selling baked goods, though I have no idea where to start!

  • profile image

    Business Model 6 years ago

    Bake great cookies and research business models as well.

  • brennawelker profile image

    brennawelker 6 years ago

    I love cookies, Thanks for very informative hub.

  • profile image

    Cute Compression Socks 6 years ago

    Great business idea. However, I think all your readers will flood the market, but that's alright... ;-)

  • profile image

    TED 6 years ago

    Great Hub, I love cookies, that's part of the joy of opening a business that related to your interests.

  • Ken Barton profile image

    Ken Barton 6 years ago

    Great Hub, Cookie business is a Win Win situation every time!

  • HotUrban profile image

    HotUrban 6 years ago from HotUrban.com

    mmmm sounds delicious!

  • eventsyoudesign profile image

    eventsyoudesign 6 years ago from Nashville, Tennessee

    Great article. Everybody loves cookies. Starting a business like this does take a lot of back breaking work coupled with long hours, but if you are successful it could be very rewarding. Love the article. Thanks for sharing. Teresa

  • fbliangcha profile image

    fbliangcha 6 years ago from Guangxi-Zhuang, China

    Something my wife would like to do but I am recommending something that preserves well - something that spoils for when you have no customers is not very appealing to me.

  • Ella_Bella profile image

    Ella_Bella 6 years ago from CANADA eh

    Mmmmmm, baking, I love it! Sunday's are my bake day's this weekend I plan on making chocolate-flan, so delicious cannot wait!

  • iQwest profile image

    iQwest 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA

    Hi Kathryn,

    I enjoyed your Hub! I am biased as I have a weak spot for the sweets. The amount of business opportunities out there are amazing. In fact, many times these ideas are right in front of us, but we don't see them or tend to over complicate things.

    In addition to the many good points you made, getting the business started off on the right foot by getting it setup properly is, as you pointed out, important. Speaking from experience, it's easy to get consumed with what you deem will be the difficult aspects of the business and realize that, down the road, you're struggling because you didn't tackle the basics.

    Thank you again!

  • LyndaD profile image

    LyndaD 6 years ago

    What a great idea for a hub and a business, made me little hungry though. Cookies, who doesn't love cookies!

  • profile image

    Air Compressor Buyer Guide 6 years ago

    i also enjoy baking at home, but never thought of making it as a business, will consider it now

  • SamboRambo profile image

    Samuel E. Richardson 6 years ago from Salt Lake City, Utah

    Okay, you convinced me . . . . after I overcome two obstacles: Money and permits. I'm not zoned for an in-home business. Meanwhile, I'll have to drool over your ideas.

  • craigmissuea profile image

    craigmissuea 6 years ago from USA

    Cookie business seems to be an attractive one. I feel it is very rewarding in the long run.

  • profile image

    KIM  6 years ago

    I am working on my business plan, the financial part and wondered what income others generated the first year and how much the income/sales grew each month.

  • profile image

    Bizz Buzz 6 years ago

    I love baking but im only 12! wat to do?

  • profile image

    Heather Lopez 6 years ago

    I am interested in starting up a Vegan Cookie business online. I want to rent out my church's kitchen in Mighigan. The problem is I cant find what kind of a lisence I need. Where do I go to find out?

  • businessesforsale profile image

    businessesforsale 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    This article helped me quite a lot and pointed me in the right direction.

  • profile image

    kitchen island designs 6 years ago

    This exactly what Ive been looking for. Ive recently decided to start my own cookie business and had no idea where to start. I love to bake and I LOOOVE cookies. My only problem is I don't have any original recipes. Im sure that's a big problem. What can I do?

  • lindacee profile image

    lindacee 6 years ago from Arizona

    I have a friend that started selling cookies from her home and it has blossomed into a thriving bakery business. She did many things mentioned in your Hub. Great advice for the bakers out there!

  • suissforex profile image

    suissforex 6 years ago from USA

    Great idea!!

    anyone knows the rules and regulations on starting this business from home?

    http://fastcashforex.com

  • profile image

    Barbigirl66 6 years ago

    Hi there everyone ....

    Dilemma .. I have great original cookie recipe, I bake and make them all the time for family functions, bake sales etc... everyone loves them! & says I should open my own cookie business but I have no idea where or how to begin?

  • profile image

    betty 6 years ago

    hi there all, i live in the fiji islands, a small island country in the south pacific. i run my cookie business from home, its a wonderful way to make the extra buck. i'm enjoying it and encourage anyone who loves baking to try it. best of luck.......

  • shoppingqueen profile image

    shoppingqueen 6 years ago

    Good advice, thanks!

  • gamelover profile image

    Meskens Geert 6 years ago from Belgium

    It looks great

  • cookiemonster84 profile image

    cookiemonster84 6 years ago from wisconsin

    This exactly what Ive been looking for. Ive recently decided to start my own cookie business and had no idea where to start. I love to bake and I LOOOVE cookies. My only problem is I don't have any original recipes. Im sure that's a big problem. What can I do?

  • kingdude4ever profile image

    kingdude4ever 7 years ago from Lahore

    Great advice we should start our own business

  • profile image

    CharteredAccountants 7 years ago

    I must say useful tips!!

  • lahoriamplifier profile image

    lahoriamplifier 7 years ago from Lahore

    i think its a good idea

  • profile image

    Rick Zepeda 7 years ago

    Kathryn, you are an awesome writer. Now I need to go eat some cookies.

  • adorababy profile image

    adorababy 7 years ago from Syracuse, NY

    When I worked in the hospital before, I used to bring cookies for sale in a jar and they were very easy to sell. I would just leave them in a corner and co-workers would just drop their payments in a can nearby and it was no hassle at all. This hub reminded me of that moment.

  • jeanie.stecher profile image

    jeanie.stecher 7 years ago from Seattle

    Hi Kathryn! Love your article. I really love cookies and love cooking one. This of course could be a potential for a small time home business and to match it with your hobby. I would be thinking about this Kat. Your article will be much of help. Thanks!

  • websclubs profile image

    websclubs 7 years ago

    Hi Kathryn,

    Enjoy baking, nice Useful hub Thanks.

  • angel115707 profile image

    Angel Ward 7 years ago from Galveston, TX

    I really wanted to have my own baking buisness from home, but there is one problem...legally you are not allowed to sell food out of the kitchen you use for personal purposes, it is in violation, and you can be fined. you are supposed to have a separate kitchen or building in order to do it. This is why I am having trouble, I cannot pay for another place as a single mom.

  • annathequietone profile image

    annathequietone 7 years ago from the big state of Texas

    sounds great someone will really find this information useful. thank you.

  • profile image

    michael 7 years ago

    mm.. cookies are good! :)

  • Piglitza profile image

    Piglitza 7 years ago from South Africa

    Awesome! Love baking and so does the wife! So many tips! Thanks for sharing!

  • borge_009 profile image

    borge_009 7 years ago from Philippines

    Wow I am planning for this recently. Thanks for sharing this hub.

  • kbeus21 profile image

    kbeus21 7 years ago from Wyoming

    Start learning internet marketing. If there is one thing I have learned about online business is the number one way to make money whether through adsense or affiliate marketing is traffic = income. Join forums such as v7n webmaster forum and web talk forum these will help with the basics. There are also great blogs out there that go over all aspects of SEO. If you reach thet top of Google for some major keywords then income will not be a problem.

  • Neil Ashworth profile image

    George Poe 7 years ago from United Kingdom

    I love this hub. Your writing is original and the photos are beautiful.

  • Ginkoin profile image

    Ginkoin 7 years ago from Canada

    Wow this was something I hadn't thought of. I definitely will think more on this. Though if I do then I will have to keep my hubby from eating them on me. lol he loves cookies a lot.

  • tim-tim profile image

    Priscilla Chan 7 years ago from Normal, Illinois

    I once heard a story on TV of a little girl being a millionaire, just baking muffins. She had her mom's help at first and she did it out of her home. Then it got so big that she hired someone else to help. I don't think is that simple though. Great hub!

  • profile image

    multimastery 7 years ago

    Nice information and I love the way you ended the hub:) "That's just how the cookie crumbles!"

  • Jesaira profile image

    Jesaira 7 years ago

    Record-breaking growth has driven us to the top of Internet marketing businesses. You can build a profitable home-based business working part-time from your home computer! Training, support, Websites, and products all provided! Enroll FREE! http://www.sfi4.com/10926692/FREE

  • profile image

    Frank Crandell 7 years ago

    The cookie business seems to be a great idea. But I do wonder, is the market saturated?

  • profile image

    Leta S 7 years ago

    Interesting and delicious idea! :)

  • profile image

    BookFlame 7 years ago

    ohmygosh! I did a terrible thing by accident! I meant to rate your hub up and I hit down instead. I'm going to rate it up twice now! great yummy hub!

  • Moneylady profile image

    Moneylady 7 years ago from Texas

    I enjoyed this! I will be back to read more of your writings

  • AdamCairn profile image

    AdamCairn 7 years ago from UK

    After reading this, I decided I might jack it all in and start a cookie company. COOKIES!

  • profile image

    W Shelby 7 years ago

    Wonderful information posted here. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the posted information. I have picked up some useful information regarding marketing that I plan to utilize. I have had a fascination with making cookies ever since I can remember - so much so that I recently started my own online cookie business at http://www.shelbyscookies.com.

    Many Thanks

  • barrygardens profile image

    barrygardens 7 years ago

    Thanks for the tip, this is really a good tip!

  • vannarith profile image

    vannarith 7 years ago

    @Mitch King, in my dream i just only to retire in the age of

    25 and get my monthly salary $3000 every month from adsense.

    Yeah, now i got success. i could earn at least $100 per day from adsense http://adsense-tutor2success.blogspot.com/

  • Mitch King profile image

    Mitch King 7 years ago from Wilsoville, OR, USA

    Now is an excellent time to start up whatever type of small business you have been dreaming up.

  • Artemus Gordon profile image

    Artemus Gordon 7 years ago

    I do not plan on setting up a cookie business but I was curious what your marketing techniques were. I have been considering selling organic vegetables and herbs that come off my land.

  • profile image

    Althea Martin 7 years ago

    My husband was just telling me I should sell my cookies...ironic :)Have you or anyone you know ever sold recipes on eBay?

  • Sophia Heresford profile image

    Sophia Heresford 7 years ago from Ohio

    Now is not the time in my life to pursue this, but one day I would like to try starting a business selling cookies. I make a cookie that tastes like Christmas. My family fights over my cookies and begs me to make private batches just for them.

    Someday...

    Sophia

  • profile image

    Deccan Chargers 7 years ago

    Thanks for providing such useful information, and explaining it so clearly.

  • Stephen Beck profile image

    Stephen Beck 7 years ago

    I've been seeing this hub for quite some time. Even though it's not my business, I can see that your knack for business in general transcends the type of business. Great hub! Lots of fun to read.

  • tritonpackaging profile image

    tritonpackaging 8 years ago from Miami, FL

    At Triton Packaging we support all home-business initiatives, in fact we carry packaging solutions for start up companies in the bakery industry. If you have baked your cookies and want to show a clean professional better appealing presentation of your items, please let us know, we could help!

  • JuliaR62 profile image

    JuliaR62 8 years ago from Madison, WI

    Thanks for the fun hub.

    How did you market your cookie business--mainly online or offline? Cookies seem like they are something which beg to be tasted, so I wonder if this is a business that is best marketed offline (at least at the beginning).

    Thank you,

    Julia

  • anglnflt4ua profile image

    anglnflt4ua 8 years ago from Bay Area, CA

    I have always wanted to try this. You have resurrected that desire in me...thanks!

  • Vizey profile image

    Vizey 8 years ago

    Are Cookies like biscuits? I would like to make cookies at home for my personal consumption. Thanks for hub.

  • Neil Ashworth profile image

    George Poe 8 years ago from United Kingdom

    Great article and what a way to make a living! Not sure if it would work for me though, as an avid cookie eater but who knows...

    Neil Ashworth