Legal Blog

Saturday Side Hustle: Venturing into the Food Business

Many businesses are developed by entrepreneurs out of their garages, during off-hours and on weekends.  I think the more interesting ideas typically start this way which is why I decided to start this blog series about the legal requirements associated with some of the most popular side hustle ideas I’ve heard, like the one seen in the trailer interview of the founders of Crooked Crab Brewing Company below. If you know of an interesting Saturday Side Hustle please let me know so I can feature it in a post.  I hope that you subscribe and stay in touch.

I love to help clients establish and grow their businesses by providing various types of legal support, and am fortunate enough to do so for a living, but I also have a constant stream of ideas for side hustles involving things I like to do: cooking, playing music, coaching youth sports, etc.

I am not alone. Almost every client, friend, family member or acquaintance I know well enough to engage in exploratory conversations about professional life has an idea for at least one side hustle. In fact, there are entire websites devoted to the topic.

Some side hustles do not require any sort of legal or regulatory support. One can find a job as a part time teacher, bartender, waiter, retail associate, etc. I think the more interesting ideas typically do, which is why I decided to start this blog series about the legal requirements associated with the most popular side hustle ideas I’ve heard. At the top of the list are food and beverage businesses: open a restaurant, buy a food truck, start a brewery, etc.

These businesses take all shapes and forms within the supply chain, beginning with the growth of plants or livestock all the way through points of sale. As the former corporate counsel for a sizeable food ingredient business, I was once in the middle of this supply chain, striving to limit warranties to customers and insist on supplier warranties.

I am going to focus this first post on the legal requirements for establishing, maintaining and growing a business that manufactures and sells products for human consumption, either directly to consumers or to wholesale or retail outlets for subsequent sale to consumers.

I recommend that anyone serious about entering into such a venture first does their homework and develop a business plan. I will introduce some concepts to consider that may factor into the plan, or may simply be viewed as steps that must be executed in concert with business establishment and development initiatives.

If you are going to make products for human consumption, you need to understand local health regulations, and if you intend to sell alcoholic beverages, licensing regulations. Instead of merely completing the necessary paperwork and paying the local government fees to set up your establishment, you should make an effort to get to know the government agents involved in the regulation of your business. Establishing close relationships with people in these roles demonstrates to them and the community that you care not only about making a profit, but also about the values of that community. Being respectful and interactive with local and regional regulators will pay dividends.

Next week I will begin focusing my series on food production businesses, mainly because I think they are fun and interesting, and I know a lot about them. In the meantime, however, enjoy the trailer that accompanies this article, which covers one of my favorite new start-up businesses, whose owners really get the concept of community.


For more information on this topic, please contact Scott Lloyd at


Video interview with the founders of Crooked Crab Brewing Company



ABOUT SCOTT LLOYD | 301.575.0357

Scott Lloyd is a registered patent attorney who specializes in intellectual property counseling and commercialization work. He has served as a technology commercialization specialist and advisor to companies in a diverse array of markets, including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food and beverage, specialty chemicals, technology and engineering. In addition, Mr. Lloyd spent ten years as in-house general counsel to small and mid-sized companies, where he managed corporate matters and resolved commercial disputes in addition to intellectual property strategy, and now serves in the same capacity for entrepreneurial clients. He serves as counsel to small and mid-sized business owners seeking to implement growth strategies and succession plans.

While in house, Mr. Lloyd has also contributed to the successful formation of international affiliates of domestic businesses as well as a $400,000,000 business acquisition.




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