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Jun 3, 2021

Understanding Cottage Food Laws

Your friends and families love your home cooking or baked goods. Now you’re thinking about making some extra money with your culinary talents. What’s to stop you from selling your organic food on your own?

Your state’s “cottage food laws” actually could put a stop to this plan! That’s why it’s important to know local laws and how they might prevent you from turning your hobby into a profitable “side hustle.” Let’s take a look at some examples of cottage food laws that could affect your burgeoning side business.

How You Can Sell Items

Many states dictate how your homemade food can be sold to other people. There are restrictions on whether you can sell to individuals or grocery stores in most states. Some state laws allow for online sales, while others encourage bakers and cooks to sell their products at farmer’s markets and special events.

Knowing who you can sell to and where is critical if you want to avoid fines or other trouble with the law.

How Much You Can Sell

Some states also limit how much you can sell each year. Michigan, for example, only allows for $25,000 in sales, while Texas allows for $50,000 in sales. Some states, like New York, don’t limit how much you can sell. Then there are states like New Hampshire, which limit how much you can sell but offer you the opportunity to get a license if you want to sell more. Knowing the limits your state sets and the opportunities they give you to exceed those limits is a necessity.

What You Can Sell

States also have limits on what kinds of items can be sold. Nevada will let you sell a variety of items, like dried fruits, jams, jellies, and baked goods. Some states are far more limiting in what you can sell. In Oklahoma, you can sell raw honey. That’s it.

If you have something you make and want to sell, you need to make sure that your state will allow you to sell it first. Unfortunately, depending on where you live you simply might not be able to use your talents to start up a new side hustle. It’s important to know that before you invest in supplies and advertising.

Other Regulations

If you want to start up your home baking or cooking business, you may also be subject to other regulations. Some states require inspections. Others require licenses. You may also need to pass a food handling or safety course depending on which state you’re operating in.

Even these individual requirements can vary in scope depending on the state. Knowing just how involved starting up your own home business will be is important, so carefully research what kinds of courses or licenses you’ll need.

Learn More About Organic Food and Local Regulations

If you want to learn more about what you can sell at your local organic food market, our website might be able to help. Visit the Organic Restaurants blog and look up local food options, blogs about home cooking, and so much more.

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