Why Start a Food Business? | H. Benjamin Sharlin, Business Attorney, NJ

Why Start a Food Business?

food business

Vision and ambition will take you about as far in the food business as they will in any other business. Ask any restaurateur, however, and you will learn that they are not enough. Most food businesses fail within the first year. Success requires a great deal of research, planning, capital, business acumen and perseverance. Did we mention more research and planning?

If you plan to start, operate and grow your food business successfully and within the law, here are some tips that come from years of experience:


Did you hate doing homework in school? It is about to come back to haunt you. Maybe you liked playing competitive sports. If you hope to compete in this business, you must do your research before you get started. Go to business networking events. There are ones operated by Small Business Development Centers, SCORE and local Chambers of Commerce. Pick the brains of fellow entrepreneurs.

Find out what works, what does not and what could have been done differently. Even do it from home! Join an online community forum. You can gauge market need and customer opinion about local food service business. Once you understand your market, you can move onto choosing your business location.


​Go all in, but only in terms of dedication. Test your idea first. One suggestion would be to start with a pop-up location. There is less risk involved. Some people start smaller. It might begin as a hobby at home, but then it outgrows the space. You can then move onto something bigger. As an entrepreneur, you have the luxury of planning your steps. Get the kinks out. Be ready for that huge step between that business plan and the grand opening.


Speaking of business plans, the process is more about the tweaking that will help match the strengths of your business to the opportunities the market presents. It is not so much about having an overly formalized document. It is more about being prepared to better deal with threats as they emerge.

Have you thought about communicating this idea to others? Customers, partners and investors like to see a business plan. It goes a long way toward convincing others you know what you are talking about.


Your business plan will supply you with the knowledge you need when it comes to seeking investment. Use that information to form an investment plan, or the basis for a loan proposal. Investors and lenders, like anyone else, want to know everything. Also, do not overdo it when asking for money. Buy local produce. Purchase surplus equipment. There are always options that will reduce the amount you will need to ask for.


A business law attorney always comes in handy in this area. There are fundamental regulatory and legal steps involved in starting a business, not to mention tax ID numbers and licensing. With a food business, there are labor laws and food safety laws. Compliance with these laws is essential to the success of a food operation.

If you have any questions regarding starting your business, contact this office for an initial consultation.

The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC

is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.

Call (609) 585-0606 or click the button below to schedule an appointment