I hear you.....absolutely. I have also done cakes for free, but I now put in a extra kick. If they balk at the monetary terms, I ask for, what I think is a reasonable amt to cover costs, and ask the client to donate $$$ to one of my favorite charities. AND, have the receipt in MY name. They usually give more in their name, so it is win win
You both get a write off. For me to go through my local health dept., re: rules, is way too prohibitive, so I am staying strictly a home hobby baker. As long as I make under 30 thou, I don't run into any problems. Don't think I would ever reach that amt. I have just received my 1st "commisioned" cake, due Jan/12 since I retired this past May. So we shall see where it goes.
Do what your gut tells you, it is always right.
I OBJECT!! ...
Couldn't resist! :-)
When I started baking cakes more professionally and started to charge, I found that I was undercharging because I possibly didnt believe enough in myself. Cake decorating is a gift from God and we are insulting Him by 'working our fingers to the bone' for peanuts.
You don't need to rely on the lawyer to grow your business. Keep your poker face on and stick with the price - he is just playing you to get you to fold. Im in South Africa, so cant comment on your pricing. You can phone other bakers and ask for their pricing to see what the going price.
Keep advertising with photos of your cakes, believe in your gift, never sell yourself short and I look forward to seeing your posts about how busy you are that you need to get help. Best wishes