Starting a Food Business

En Español

Idea to Reality: Starting a Food Business in Wisconsin

Summer 2020 Webinar Series for Food Entrepreneurs: Food Safety during COVID-19, Licensing Your Business

Webinar 1: July 13, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Food Safety Document Development for Small Food Processors: FSMA compliance and COVID-19 preparedness. Dr. Abby Snyder, Cornell University, discusses the basic requirements for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and how to prepare your business to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This webinar is intended for small (< $1 million in sales/year) food entrepreneurs and small food businesses, farm market managers, and directors of shared-use kitchens.  Extension educators that support these businesses are welcome to attend.

English language program: Zoom recording  Powerpoint slides    Spanish language program:  Zoom recording  Powerpoint slides

Webinar 2: August 10, 9:00 – 10:00 a.m. Starting a Food Business in Wisconsin: Keep Food Safety in Mind.  Barbara Ingham, Food Safety Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, answers basic questions about types of licenses a food business may need and standards for a food production facility, provides tips on developing food safety plans, and offer hints for locating resources and support so small food entrepreneurs can get their businesses licensed in Wisconsin. This webinar is intended for small food businesses in Wisconsin and facilities and programs that support these entrepreneurs. Extension educators are welcome to attend.

English language program: Zoom recording Powerpoint slides  Spanish language program:  Powerpoint slides

Resources – Licensing

Resources – Marketing and Business Support

  • Food Finance Institute helps grow already established food businesses.
  • Small Business Development Centers. The Wisconsin Small Business Development Centers with locations at UW-Madison and several system campuses across the state provide education, referrals, sophisticated tools and resources to help businesses evolve – this is your resource for business planning, marketing advice and a host of other resources. Feel free to give them a call or connect with them online. Phone 800-940-7232
  • WI Food Business Roadmap. A guide to getting started.
  • Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation (WWBIC)  has provided quality business and financial education coupled with access to fair capital and financial products since 1987.

Support – Food Safety, Product Development, Training and more

  • One-on-one support through the Division of Extension is available: by phone 608-263-7383 or email
    • One-on-one support for food businesses with food safety questions.
    • Support for small food businesses trying to meet licensing requirements.
    • Resources to assist with product develop and production/packaging questions.
    • Support with training, record-keeping, etc.
  • Licensing Specialists Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP): by phone 608-224-4923 or email