I think in your case Fatz, it is a means of getting around liaibilities and licensing issues. If you have someone else buy the food and pay you strictly for your services, then technically you are exempt somehow from health dept licensing. I don't really understand it so I decided to go on the up and up. It turns out that in Ohio, you don't have to have a kitchen permit if you prepare everything on site. You do, have to pay a $35 /per use "temporary license" to cater. They come out to the site the day of the cook and bless you if you are compliant. That is only necessary if the guests are being charged a fee, like a golf outing or, class reunion. If there is no fee and you are simply being paid by an individual, like in a grad party, or wedding, then you don't need anything. I was considering the whole "personal chef" angle, but try telling someone that, "I don't need to be licensed because you own the food, so you are the liable party." I had heard horror stories that had me scared, but I called the local health dept to get the low down and they couldn't have been more helpful and encouraging.I am enrolled to take a Safe Food Service course ( $125) and eventually will be certified. It's all common sense stuff, but the cert is valuable!
I went subchapter "S" corp to avoid personal liaibility. That cost about $650. I also got $ 1 MM in liaibility coverage ($2 MM aggregate) and covered the pit for theft, damage, liaibility for a total of $688.
All the extra stuff adds up, but I think it is best to be as legit as possible. One lawsuit will ruin you! Good Luck Fatz
"I was born to cook for people"