Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?



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Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?


 SALES OF FOOD WITHOUT A LICENSE Is Prohibited Under Florida Cottage Laws
If you have a knack for cooking or baking something delicious and people tell you they would be willing to pay for it, you may want to consider launching your own small business.

Without the appropriate licenses and permits, the vast majority of food products cannot be marketed. But thanks to Florida's cottage laws, individuals are able to sidestep these regulations.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?
Get familiar with the fundamentals of food businesses in Florida that do not require permits.


Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

Cottage foods are a specialized subset of home-prepared foods that are available for direct sale to consumers who are informed about the products they are purchasing. They are exempt from having to get licenses from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, nor are they subject to random spot checks by that agency (FDACS). These foods have a lower potential to make you sick, at least most of the time.


The first thing you need to do in order to learn how to start a cottage food business in Florida is to find out what kinds of food you may sell without needing a license. There are multiple lists available that detail the types of food companies in Florida that do not require permits. If the thing you want to make falls into one of these categories, you are well on your way to realizing your vision.


Here are 10 websites that can help you start a food business in Florida:

  1. Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
  2. Florida Small Business Development Center:
  3. Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association:
  4. City of Miami Business:
  5. City of Orlando Business:
  6. City of Tampa Business:
  7. My Florida Licenses:
  8. Florida Chamber of Commerce:
  9. Florida SBDC Network:
  10. US Small Business Administration:


Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

If you are familiar with the cottage regulations in Florida, you will be able to create an effective business plan and establish growth objectives that are attainable.

Businesses in the food industry in Florida that are exempt from the permit requirement

In the state of Florida, there is a restricted list of foods and food items that can be manufactured and sold legally. Whether or not an item needs to be maintained at a specific temperature is one of the most crucial factors that decides what can and can't be sold.

The following are examples of items that are acceptable to sell:

baked goods (a loaf of bread, some rolls, and some cookies);
baked goods such as pastries, cookies, and cakes;
a variety of sweets and candies;
The honey was produced through manual labor;
Preserves, such as jams, jellies, and various other types;
Fruit pies with dried fruits;
Dried herbs, spices, and blends of herbs and spices;
Homemade pasta;
Cereals, trail mixes, and granola;

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

A variety of nut products, with or without a coating;

Vinegar and flavored vinegars; and

Popcorn and balls that are formed from popcorn.

Homegrown produce is used in the production of a significant number of these goods. This provides farmers with an additional opportunity to earn money as well as an outlet for their creative energies. However, Florida cottage food vendors are not required to utilize ingredients that they themselves cultivated and harvested.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?


The majority of Florida's cottage regulations address the manner in which and the locations at which goods can be sold. The guidelines for these statutes can be found in Section 500.80 of the Florida Statutes. However, keep in mind that the regulations that apply in other states or localities may be different from those that are in place in the state of Florida.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

People who live in the state of Florida are the only ones who are allowed to sell foods that were prepared in a private kitchen. Once the products have been sold in other states, the sellers are have to comply with the cottage laws of other states, which may or may not permit comparable sales.


Under Florida law, the total sales of cottage foods can't be more than $50,000 a year. Sales are taxed income.


You are required to use the kitchen in your primary residence whenever you are producing food for sale. You won't be successful in a summer house, a motor home, a vacation home, or in the great outdoors.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?


Online shopping and searching are common activities for many people today. People who operate small food enterprises out of their homes have the ability to sell their food online; however, they are required to personally deliver the meal to customers. Because of this, conducting commerce between states or countries is much more difficult.


Cupcakes, wedding cakes, and birthday cookies are some examples of the typical meals that can be created in a cottage setting for special events. The consumer must accept delivery of the cottage food either directly to their home or to the location of a private event that the customer is hosting.


In Florida, the law specifies that you can't sell meals prepared in a cottage. Wholesale products have to meet some extra restrictions.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?


In order to comply with all of the county and city regulations and ordinances regarding how to make, process, store, and sell cottage food items, a cottage food business is required to do so. There could be some distinctions between these and the general cottage laws that apply to Florida.


To ensure that consumers remain unharmed, homemade goods must adhere to all applicable packaging and labeling standards. In addition to this, it must state that the product was "Made in a home kitchen that is exempt from Florida's standards for food safety.""

A cottage food business can only sell foods that have already been packaged. The following information is required to be provided in English on the label:

Please provide the name and address of the establishment that specializes in selling home-cooked food;

What we call the meals that we prepare in our own kitchens;

The components of the dish, in the order of which ones contribute the most to the total weight;

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?

How much it weighs, as well as how much room it takes up;

Labels are required to give information about allergens in accordance with federal rules; and

The appropriate nutrition facts, as required by federal labeling rules.

Small food enterprises that are conducted out of people's homes are permitted to offer free samples to customers in exchange for feedback, provided that the samples are pre-packaged. A list of ingredients doesn't need to be prepared in a lab.

There is a possibility that you will be able to keep a certain ingredient a closely guarded secret if you so want. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) 21CFR 101.100g(1)(2) notes that the way products are labeled can be different in some situations. You may be eligible for an exemption from the requirement if it is determined by the Commissioner of Food and Drugs that the alleged secret substances are not harmful. Before opting to leave out the substance, it is safer to make sure that both you and the commissioner agree, and you should talk to the FDA about the possible exception.


You can make money off of the food you make at home by selling it at flea markets, roadside stands, and farmer's markets. This is only true if you do not have any other products in your space that are considered to be food and therefore require a food licence.

Is it illegal to sell lemonade in Florida?
Even if you have all the necessary ingredients and equipment to qualify as a cottage food producer, you may still be required to have a food establishment license in order to sell your wares at some farmer's markets and other locations that focus on direct sales. Most of the time, each municipality and farmers' market has its own rules.