How to Sell Food From Home Legally in Milwaukee

Posted by Damian Roberti on

How to Sell Food From Home Legally in Milwaukee




How to Sell Food From Home Legally in Milwaukee

Establishing Your Home-Based Food Business Legally in Milwaukee

For passionate home cooks, turning their culinary skills into a profitable venture is a dream. In Wisconsin, home-based food entrepreneurs can do this legally, thanks to the "Cookie Bill," which has opened doors for home bakers and chefs. This article offers a comprehensive guide on legally selling food from home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Understanding Wisconsin's Home Baked Goods Law

Wisconsin's Home Baked Goods Law, also known as the "Cookie Bill," allows home-based cooks to make and sell homemade baked goods. The law allows the sale of non-potentially hazardous baked goods, including breads, cookies, muffins, and cakes, directly to consumers without needing a license or kitchen inspection. There are, however, limits on your sales. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, you cannot exceed $25,000 in annual sales.










Formulating a Business Plan, How to Sell Food From Home Legally in Milwaukee

Just like any other business venture, a solid business plan is crucial. This should outline your business goals, target market, marketing strategies, product pricing, and financial projections.

Registering Your Business

You should register your business to make it legal. Depending on your preferences and needs, you can register your business as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or Limited Liability Company (LLC). Visit the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions’ website to register your business.











Obtaining Necessary Licenses and Permits

While the Cookie Bill allows the sale of home-baked goods without a license or kitchen inspection, it's wise to check with local county or city authorities for any additional permits or licenses that may be required.

Labeling and Packaging

Your homemade baked goods should be properly labeled. The label should include the name and address of your business, the name of the product, ingredients in descending order by weight, allergen information, and a disclaimer that the product was made in a home kitchen.













Getting Insured, How to Sell Food From Home Legally in Milwaukee

Even if not mandatory, it's recommended to get liability insurance to protect your business. Check with insurance providers for suitable home-based business coverage.

Marketing and Selling Your Products

Lastly, market your products effectively. Utilize farmers' markets, events, online platforms, and word of mouth to gain visibility. Social media can be a powerful tool to attract customers and showcase your baking talents.

Now, here are 15 websites related to starting a home-based food business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin:

  1. Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP): - Offers comprehensive details about Wisconsin's Home Baked Goods Law.

  2. Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions: - For registering your business in Wisconsin.

  3. Internal Revenue Service (IRS): - To obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN).

  4. Cottage Food Laws: - Provides an overview of cottage food laws by state, including Wisconsin.

  5. Small Business Administration (SBA): - Contains information about starting a business, including writing a business plan, legal requirements, and more.

  6. Milwaukee County Farmers Markets: - For finding local farmers' markets to sell your goods.

  7. Etsy: - An online marketplace for homemade goods.

  8. Food Liability Insurance Program (FLIP): - Offers liability insurance for food businesses.

  9. Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC): - Provides consulting services and training for small business owners in Wisconsin.

  10. SCORE: - Provides mentoring and education to small business owners.

  11. HomeBasedBaking: - Offers resources for home-based food businesses.

  12. American Culinary Federation: - A professional organization for chefs and cooks, providing resources and networking opportunities.

  13. Wisconsin Farmers Market Association: - An association providing resources and information for sellers at farmers' markets.

  14. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE): - Offers resources for self-employed individuals and micro-businesses.

  15. Wisconsin Bakers Association: - A resource and networking platform for bakers in Wisconsin.

Please remember that laws may have changed after my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, so always consult with a lawyer or business advisor to ensure you're up-to-date with any changes in legislation. Good luck with your home food business!