Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade Food in Missouri

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Do I need a license to sell homemade food in Missouri? Does Missouri have a cottage food law? Welcome to cottage food laws. This is YouTube's brand new channel for homemade food entrepreneurs who were starting small based on boot food businesses from home. We are going to have a ton of great resources. This is your first video. Welcome to our channel. I am actually not new to YouTube. We have three other food entrepreneur channels, you can check out the links down below marketing food online, and then we have food truck freaks and then we have another marketing food online too, which is our second channel dedicated to food entrepreneurship as well. So in this video, particularly we're gonna dive into Missouri's cottage food laws.


We're going to tell you what you can and can't make we're going to tell you what you have as far as business legalities that you need to make sure labeling and so many other resources now also below the video guys, if you need any additional resources, check out the links in the description section for even more free resources. So let's dive right into it. So, does Missouri actually have a cottage food law? Yes, they do. Actually, in 2014, they revamped their laws, allowing everyone within the state of Missouri to actually They're actually looking to also add additional online sales as well, but that hasn't gotten through legislation just yet. But in 2014, they did open it up to the entire state. Missouri actually had only certain counties that were available at that time prior to 2014. So at least they're stepping up a notch and letting people create phone based food businesses which I think is a great idea.


 Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade Food in Missouri

So let's dive into it. Selling. So, where can you sell your cottage foods? If you run a homemade food business in Missouri, you can sell your products in a variety of locations.You can do it directly from home. When you do it from home, you can either deliver it to your customers or have them come to your home and pick up their products. You have farmer's markets, which are fantastic a great way to test out new food products with a low minimum investment. That's what's so great about starting from home because you can tap into your existing resources like your kitchen, your equipment, and anything else that you have in the house to create your food products.



Farmers markets are great local events like festivals and fairs, etc. Now keep in mind that some farmers markets, fairs and festivals in Missouri may also require a fee in addition to selling under the cottage food laws that has nothing to do with their cottage food law itself. So each individual private event or even a farmers market may operate differently and allow you the opportunity to sell there despite the fact that you have to pay a fee or something. So keep that in mind in case you need it.Okay, With services now, can you have whole pickup and delivery? Yes, you actually can. What's okay about the delivery is that I would keep it within about a five-to-10-mile radius. If you are going to deliver the product. That's something that's allowed if you're preparing it at home now if you're okay with it and you're comfortable, you can have people come to your home and pick up their products if they're ordering from you know, some of the prohibited ways to sell the products. Unfortunately there's three retail store sells, you can't necessarily sell your product to a retail store and then have them segments of their customer.



That's something you would need to go to a commercial kitchen for or have a commercially licensed facility to do that. So selling your homemade food product directly to a retailer is something unfortunately can't do just yet. Also, restaurants so if you create a blend of spices or if you have a dessert like you know if you have a cottage cheese business, or a cheesecake business, and you're selling cakes, and you're selling cupcakes and all that you can't sell it right now to restaurants unfortunately as well. Also, the next step is online. Because if you have an online business, there's a good likelihood that someone outside of your state will go to your website and want to buy a product and of course you can't ship it from your house over state lines under Missouri's cottage food laws. So let's talk about the food.


So Damian, what kind of foods can you sell through cottage food laws in Missouri specifically? So you could do things like cookies, donuts, bread, a sorted variety of brownies, which is actually a huge market. They're very cheap to make and that's a huge margin product by the way, brownies, cakes, muffins, herbs and spices, Danishes and pastries and pies. Now the only thing about the pies though, you got to make sure that it's basically only fruit filled. Because if you've got anything that's time or temperature sensitive, or potentially hazardous such as like meat field pies or cheeses, those cheese pies and things. Those are something that you can't do because it's has to be kept at a certain temperature.


So just as just yet you can't do that under Missouri's cottage food laws, jams and jellies as well. Granola. Some of the prohibited items are things like nuts and seeds, meat jerky, which is, of course, dried jerky like beef jerky or turkey jerky, or such marshmallow syrups, fermented foods, just to name a few, even sausage fudge and chocolates. These are prohibited so we got a full list this of course is not the entire list what's available but definitely check out our resource down below on our on our blog for the full list of what you can't make that a prohibited foods or something that would be potentially hazardous. Keep that in mind as well as we go through this.


Those are things that, again, our time is temperature sensitive. That means that they have a limited amount of time before they have to be consumed or they have to be kept at a certain temperature before bacteria can grow. Next up, sales limits. So how much money can you make a year through Missouri's cottage food laws right now? Currently it's 50,000 a year which to be honest, it is not a bad as a side business. If you're looking to create a home based food business as a side job or side hustle, extra $50,000 A year is nice. Some of the things that you can't use in your home kitchen are This is kind of pretty similar across the board in most states. When you start a home-based food business, commercial equipment is prohibited. So that would be like large bread mixers, large commercial ovens, and such.


 Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade Food in Missouri

So too is commercial kitchen equipment. That would be something like again, like I mentioned, if you've got overhead vents for a large commercial oven, you can't install that in your home. You can't use large mixers, large baking sheets, or cooling racks that are commercial cooling racks. Those you can't use as well. It is now also direct sales only. That's kind of what we talked about before is that you can't open a website and sell online unfortunately, because of the fact that you can't ship it over state lines. So direct sales is what's known as you delivering it to the customer or if you're at a farmers market, you hand the product to the customer they pay you that has to be the way you deliver your products under Missouri's cottage foods.


 Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade Food in Missouri

Now, this is kind of really interesting. This is a great part of it, the business aspect of it so no permit or training from a health department or even inspections for the health department are needed for this but there are there might actually actually be other local city or or County Municipal laws and regulations that are set up but by the state's cottage food laws, no permitting inspection or training that's needed. So now let's hop into the labeling. So how do you label cottage food laws? What do they require in Missouri? Well number one, you have to have a business address. So that's actually going to be the address of your home. You can't use a peel box. You can't use someone else's house obviously. But you also can't use a commercial address that you're not occupying has to be your business address which is your home the business name so even though you set up a cottage food, business at home, you got to create a name. And by the way, we'll have some great videos here about name generators. If you have a hard time coming up with a name, there is some software online that will help you create a business name in a matter of seconds.


And now also you'll have to have a statement like a disclosure statement. And this usually means most states require something that's the effect of this is a letting the customer know that the product is prepared any home kitchen, which is not inspected, not licensed, not insured and such under cottage food laws. So they can buy it at their own risk in a sense. Now I would recommend although I don't see where Missouri has this available, put your ingredients. Also your allergen warning and as a matter of fact, check out the link down below there's a video where I could show you exactly how to create a nutritional label that is FDA approved using online software that allows you to create a nutritional label for your food products which would actually be a huge benefit even though it's not required. A lot of customers really like to see that and you it looks more professional too and you probably will sell more products if you've got one so check out the video link down below in the description for how to create a nutritional label. So those are the labeling requirements. So that pretty much is the gist of how to get go into Missouri.


I'll have some links down below for the state links to the websites. You can look a little bit deeper into it. Now one thing I would recommend, actually two things. You're not needed to do this but create an LLC, you need to incorporate yourself as a business even home based food businesses can do this. Create an LLC will give you a layer of protection legally, if someone gets sick or gets hurt eating your food products. If they were to sue you, You would actually lose your house, your possessions and your car and you personally would be liable for any hospital bills and such. So having an LLC and creating a limited liability company is going to be a huge benefit to you. Now the reason why I say that is down below. Check it out. There's some websites you can actually do this online as well. But it's a huge layer of protection for you guys, and I would definitely recommend you do that.


Next up is your business insurance. You can get a food business policy, believe it or not for a home based food business if you didn't know this, and again, we have got more resources down below for this as well. But getting a food business insurance policy is about five to 600 bucks a year and you can get it to help also offset anything as far as somebody getting sick or liability insurance for your product. Check that out as well. Most cottage food state laws do not require this, but having it is something I would highly recommend. So if this video was helpful, please do give me a big thumbs up if you're brand new to the channel subscribe because we're gonna have a lot on packaging. Getting resources, how to get ingredients online, really cheap for your home based food business, and so much more. And I'll see you in our next video.

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