All right, this is the Marketing Food Online Podcast, and this is Damian, and we are going to cover the rules for selling food from home in this podcast. And by the way, what I'll do is record this and upload it to YouTube. So I'll give you an opportunity as well for our YouTube subscribers on our Marketing Food Online YouTube channel to see this information and use it as well. So, how do I start selling food from home and get a permit for selling food from home as well? These are the three different topics.
The questions we're going to cover in this podcast are: And as always, if this is your first podcast, definitely follow us. We are on dozens of outlets down below this video when I upload it to YouTube, as well as on the podcast itself. Check out the different places that you can find our podcasts. So you can actually listen to us on the go. So, as always, if you have any questions about your food entrepreneurship ideas or questions you need to answer, let us know in the comment section on our YouTube channel.
And that way, we can also build out some more content and answer questions for you guys as well. So this is actually a very, very good way to start any food business, doing it from home. There's a little bit of confusion, or even a lot of confusion in most states as to what you can make. How can you make it? How much can you sell? And where can you sell it? So I'm going to go over a couple of these questions here, and as always, in our library on our YouTube channel, we've got dozens of Cottage Food videos on different states. So definitely check those out down below as well for those links. So the first question is the rules on selling food from home.
So here's basically how it works. If you're new to the cottage food business, or if you're new to selling food from home, there are rules that are in place in order to keep you from making food that is unsafe for people to consume. A lot of times, people who start food businesses from home enjoy cooking, but they don't know the aspects of running a business and selling food and abiding by the certain rules and regulations set up by the state for the cottage food industry as a whole. And that's where it gets confusing.
So, enjoying cooking and starting food businesses sounds great, but they're two different things, and you need to understand what you can do and what you can't do. So every state has in place what are known as "Cottage Food Laws." Now, in order for you to find specifically, of course, this being a podcast, I can't show you on the computer, but the way for you to find out specifically your state is to go to Google and type in "Cottage Food Law." And then the state that you're in now, the first two to three or four results will pop up. You want to look for a.gov or a state-run website. Those are more specific. And those tell you clearly and concisely what you can and cannot do.far as the rules on selling food from home, you want to make sure you abide by them, of course, but you should also be aware of the places that you can sell the actual product itself. Most of the time, that's farmers' markets, festivals, fairs, and local events. There are only a very few states that allow you to produce a homemade food product and then sell it to a retailer, a third party, someone else to resell it, or even a restaurant or cafe.
Very few states allow that, but there are some that actually do, like California, which has a fantastic cottage food law that they just passed about two years ago, I believe it was. It's a licensed A and a licensed B. And I believe it's license B that actually allows you to literally make almost anything and sell it to cafes, restaurants, or resell it to a retail storefront.
So back to the rules now. As you make your product, make sure that number one, it's on the list of allowed products that you can make. What they cannot allow you to make is what's known as potentially hazardous food products. And these are time and temperature sensitive. "" And I've mentioned them in a couple of my other videos about how to sell food from home, but you want to make sure that you are properly selling the items that you're allowed to do. And don't step outside of that. The state websites that you're going to find on Google search are going to tell you very specifically as to what you can and cannot make and the limitations as to what you can do with that. The other rule that you want to talk about is the labeling.
Make sure that you follow the labeling specifically, which states that it is a homemade food product. Okay? Some of the states do not require you to put your address on the form. Now, you may also need to put an ingredient listing, which I highly recommend, whether or not your state requires you to do this. Put the ingredient listing on every single thing you make. Okay, and an allergen warning label, okay. If you are handling wheat or eggs or nuts or anything of that sort within your actual home where you're producing the product, even though the state doesn't say, you know what Damian, you need to put this on there. You need to have an allergen label.
You need to have an ingredient list. Make sure you do. Here's the reason why: Is that when you go to farmers' markets or local events, if they see a full list of ingredients, if they have an allergic reaction to something in that ingredient, they'll have a better understanding of whether to buy the product or not?Now an allergen label is on as well. If you are again producing a product where your cross-contamination or you've got anything that could potentially get people sick, put that on the label. It's really, honestly, not that big of a deal when you're printing the labels from home, putting in the allergen information and also the ingredients specifically of what's in the product. That's going to also lead to more sales. And here's the reason why: the more information the consumer has to buy a product, the better off they are in making a decision as to whether or not they're going to buy it at all.
That is a huge benefit for you as the business owner. Okay? So make sure that you do that. Next up is your packaging. You want to really look professional. Okay, Try to look professional, have a nice logo, and create a brand image. Don't be in a rush to create a logo. Make sure you also have that as well. Some of the rules on selling food from home also indicate that you have to have it properly labeled for the net weight. How much of the product is there? The net weight is actually the amount of the product minus the packaging. So if you're selling, let's just say a trail mix, for instance, you want to make sure you have the net weight, how much product, not the bag, not the packaging, how much of that product is actually in the packaging that needs to be on the bag as well. And to be honest with you again, if a state doesn't require it, make your packaging look professional, because you never know who's at a farmers' market buying a product.
There could be somebody who is a buyer for a local grocery chain, and he walked into the farmers' markets and saw your product. And guess what? It struck him. It struck him or her very well. And they got a great impression and they want to bring that product into their store. So, the more professional the product looks right off the bat, the better off it is for you as well. So you've got packaging, you've got labeling, and your product itself. Some of the other rules are how much you can sell. This is also limited in every single state. Some states have a very low, unfortunately, very low amount of money that you can actually sell for 5, 10, or $15,000 a year from home. Some of them have limitless potential, while others do not.do not have a limit at all. A great state to do it in is Arizona.
Arizona has fantastic golf. Florida is another one too that actually just increased the amount. So I think it was 220,000 or 250,000, if I'm not wrong, that will go into effect shortly as well. Some states have a limit on how much you can actually sell. Now the next thing, as far as following the rules and selling food from home, you want to make sure that you also sell at places you're allowed to. Some states allow farmers' markets. Some don't allow festivals or food, truck events, or other state-run events, or private events, catering events, and those types of things.
Those are also places that you can and cannot sell again, so specifically check for your state in particular. And that way, you will know exactly what you can and cannot sell and where to sell it. Now, how do I start selling food from home? Make sure that you've got the space available. Okay, A lot of cottage food laws and regulations on selling food products from your home tell you to specifically have a section of your home available for the production of your product. Also, what you can and who you can't have in your kitchen while you're producing a product to sell.
For instance, some states require you to not have pets or smoke in the area where you're producing your food products. You cannot also produce food from your home at the same time, so if in the morning, you're making eggs and breakfast for your family, And you're trying to put together a batch of your salsa. That's something they don't recommend you do. So be sure and be aware of what you can do when you actually make the product and where you produce it. And who's allowed to be in there as well? That's also a very stringent rule for cottage food laws. And most states actually abide by that same law as well, right across the board, whether it's permits or licenses. So, do I need a license to sell food from my home?That is a great question because multiple states actually don't have any permits. They may have a food handler card that you have to take a course online or take a class online. By the way, if you need to, you can check out our YouTube, or at least our YouTube channel, down below.I'll put up a link to a company where you can actually get those permits, depending upon the state that you're in as well, but check out that resource as well. So, is there a permit for selling food from home?
Yes and no. Again, your state will have a specific list as to what permits or licenses you may need, and you need to definitely take care of that. And most of the time, it's just a food handler's card, or a food handler's permit, as it's known. A business license and such are not always required, but that gets me into my next section of this podcast. Number one, I highly recommend that you incorporate yourself. Now you can do this with a basic company like incfile.com or Inc Authority. By the way, I'll have a couple of links in the description for those two. I refer a lot of my clients to those websites because it literally takes less than 15 minutes or so to incorporate yourself. But these websites allow you to incorporate your home-based business as well.
Damian, my state doesn't require that. Why would I do that? Liability My friend, you need to make sure that you are covered legally. Even though you're making food from home and you're under the Cottage Food Law that doesn't require minimal or no liability factor on your part, you will be liable if somebody gets sick, excuse me. And if somebody gets ill because they've eaten your product or somebody has a reaction, that's going to fall on you. If you're not incorporated, you could personally be sued for that. If you don't have food business insurance, that's my next one up, food business insurance, you need to get a food business policy for your business at home.
Yes, there actually are food business companies that will write policies for home-based food businesses. It's about $5 to $600 a year, but I would highly recommend that be another avenue, another something, a layer of protection you need to put in place, even though, you know, the rules for selling food from home say, "Hey, I don't need to have that." I don't necessarily rely on I'm in my state, and it doesn't say that you need to do that for your own protection. Now this leads me to the next thing. If you're doing this from home and you have a homeowners association, did you know that the homeowners association can fine you and they can legally tell you to stop making food from your house? If you haven't asked them and they've approved it, So a lot of people who live in homeowners' associations didn't know this.
And if you're starting a cottage food business from home, you can kind of think of this as a permit for selling food from home. You need to get a yes or a no from your homeowners association because that liability is a huge factor and that could play a big, big role and you could get fined by them. Okay? Next up, connect with a local Facebook group and promote your home-based food business. This is a genius way to get free, absolutely free marketing. Every city, every county, and every local community has some type of event or group on Facebook where you can join and spread the word about your product.
This is a great way to grow your home-based food business. very fast. Now, back to what I was saying before, how do I start selling food from home? I would recommend starting the process of promoting and marketing online with your Facebook account or a Facebook group ASAP. Do it once you are up and running with your homeowner immediately. With your Cottage Food Law, and then your business from home, you could promote that easily through Facebook. Okay? You can get anywhere from a few hundred to a couple of thousand to tens of thousands of people in a local group that would love to hear about your product and say, "Hey, look, I'm going to be at the Farmers' Market on this day." I'm going to be at this festival. Come out, support my small business. It's absolutely free, costs you nothing, just a little bit of your time. So these are a few tips and pointers, definitely very important things to start your business from home, selling your food products.
Keep in mind that all of these are going to be beneficial for you in the long run. Especially if you have an opportunity to start small from your home and get into a commercial facility down the road, you've already got that advertising and you've got those local permits. You've got the word spread around locally. It's going to help you grow a business once you get to that next level. So if this was a really helpful video, please give me a big thumbs up and definitely check out our podcasts. We're going to upload this momentarily to our podcast. And if you're on their YouTube channel and you're watching us, if you have any comments or questions, let us know. And if you actually have any experience yourself and you're already running a cottage food business, a lot of our subscribers would love to hear your comments and how you started. Let us know down below, too. So I'll see you guys on our next video and I'll hear from you more on our podcast.