Information for Food Entrepreneurs

Many people dream of transforming their favorite recipes into the next profitable taste sensation.  After all, it seems like plenty of well-known people have done it and become household names.  So, if starting a food-oriented small business is more than just a dream, make sure you are licensed, know the rules and follow them.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Division of Food and Recreational Safety is responsible for enforcing food regulations and inspecting food establishments.  Our food inspectors, also known as sanitarians, are trained in food safety and sanitation and are knowledgeable about the food regulations with which you will have to comply.  Working closely with a sanitarian as early as possible in your business development can save you time and money.

Your relationship begins with a telephone call to our licensing specialists. Be prepared to describe what is in your product, where you plan to make it, and how you intend to preserve, package and sell it. The licensing specialist will tell you which regulations apply to your product, offer advice on how to bring your facility up to standards, and help you understand the process.

To get started, read through these publications for an overview of what it will take to start your food business and then refer to some of the additional information we have available:

Wisconsin Food Processing and Food Sales Requirements Guide 

Wisconsin Local Food Marketing Guide?

??Connect with the Wisconsin Food Program for more guidance. 

Interested in starting the licensing process?  Fill out this convenient web form and we'll get you all the information you need. 

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