Successful specialty food processing requires careful planning, dedication, and skilled management. Food businesses must comply with a number of complex and often confusing federal, state and local regulations. This report includes questions that individuals should consider before starting a small food processing business. The critical aspects of market research—gathering information about markets or customers --are described. Market research is an important step in preparing to start a business and in maintaining competitiveness. This report also provides valuable information and resources on county and state local and state rules, regulations and agencies that will help specialty food business owners get started.