what are Cottage Food Laws

Posted by Damian Roberti on

All right. So welcome to marketing food Online podcast. And in this podcast, which we will go ahead and upload onto YouTube as well. We're going to cover some fantastic questions that we had a couple of our subscribers. They're looking to start a home-based food business. It's a huge range, very popular nowadays. Are people, a lot of people are either out of work or they're looking for more additional income and home-based food businesses under the Cottage food law is something that's taking off very popular right now. So what is cottage food laws or what is it? Cottage food law. And what does cottage food actually mean? So when you're looking to create a base home-based business and you want to create food from home, you would be under, what's known as the cottage food laws. These are specific laws that are set up specifically by each state and each city and county also has different regulations and ordinances as it trickles down through the municipalities, but it allows you to create food, certain foods, and I'm gonna go over eight specific things you need to know about cottage food law.


So you understand how it works and then you can move forward and create your business from there. So God's food laws are set up. Each state varies as image before, and they have a variety of different things that you're allowed to make. But one specific thing, potentially hazardous quote, unquote, potentially hazardous food products are items that you cannot make and sell. These are items that are either time or temperature sensitive as they're called. Okay. So for instance, if you're looking to create food, like you would sell at a food food truck, like tacos and burritos and hotdogs not going to happen under cottage, food loss, okay. Variety of foods and things that you can sell just off the top of my head. Most states also have the, the variety of foods are relatively similar, but yes, they do have specific things. Some states have certain requirements for certain foods.

Some people don't want to do canning. They want to have acid, acidic foods, things that are very acidy have to have the pH measured and recipes measuring. So yes, there are some variations, but things like cookies, baked goods nuts, herbs, spices, teas, even sometimes even roasted coffees. Those are things that would be considered non potentially hazardous. So what does cottage food mean though? Damien? So number one, the state will tell you where you can sell. So if they're going to actually dictate to you where they you're allowed to sell a lot of times, it's farmer's markets, festivals, local events in the city or county where you live. Obviously some places are prohibited like grocery stores or third-party sellers. Like if you were to go to a restaurant and sell a product to them, and then they turn around and sell it to their customers, most states don't allow you to do that.

I know California does a poor, plenty of people that are probably watching the same. Well, California has two different licenses. Yes, they do have different licenses. The license B is one that you can actually get, and that allows you to sell directly to restaurants or grocery stores or cafes. So, as I mentioned before, states will vary and they'll dictate exactly what you can do and where you can sell it. Now, number two, what you sell, as I mentioned a little bit, a little bit ago in the introduction. So what you can sell is also under classified as a cottage food and under the cottage food law. So specifically items that don't have a sensitivity to time or temperature, those would be items that allowed to sell. No, by the way, on our channel here, we have multiple states. You can simply just go, go, go into the search box under our, our YouTube channel.

And you can type in your state's name and cottage food. And we have almost every state. I think there's a couple of states that we still have we're working on. Yeah. So we have a couple of states that we have left that we'll be working on two. So number three, how much? So, yes, unfortunately they do have a cap and in most states now there are a few states that actually could sell unlimited amount. This is a dollar amount by the way. So how much you can actually sell in dollar amount, most states will dictate to you also under the cottage food laws, how much you can sell per year. Okay. And if you go above and beyond that, then you'd have to transition yourself into something like a commercial kitchen or a commercially licensed facility, because then you're exceeding the state's allowed cottage, food, law income for that specific state.

Okay. Number four, what is legally needed? So believe it or not, most this is really unusual, but most cottage food laws actually don't require business licenses. They don't require you to have even a, an inspection. Some states don't expect any of your kitchen. Some states don't have any agency that oversees any of the cottage food at all. You simply may have to apply for a food handler's card and then you're up and running. So you've got to find out specifically what is legally needed. And the state under the cottage food laws will dictate to you as well. What specifically you'll need to have now some states say, Hey, you gotta have a business license. You gotta be incorporated. Some states have rules. You can't be incorporated. You just have to have the food handler's card. So find out specifically what is legally required by your state.

Okay. Number five, the label, some states require a certain disclaimer on the label stating that the item that you are about to purchase for your customer, the label would have to say that it's in a kitchen that is uninspected, or it's not inspected by the health department. Some states don't even have that label. They simply have you put the ingredients. So it is a bit confusing at times when some people were like, well, this state has that. And that state has another. It is up to the state and then it trickles down to the city and county. So make sure you find out what is on the label as number five, number six, sometimes certain states will require a recipe to be submitted to a certain department within the state for it to be reviewed and approved. This is a bit tedious, but it actually does happen in a couple of different states.

So number six is you may need to have a recipe approved. Mostly this happens when you're dealing with items that have a pH level, that haven't acidity level that are very acidy. Okay? So those are items like pickling pickles. And then if you're doing certain jams or jellies, if they have certain acidities to them, those recipes would have to be approved. Okay. Number seven, how you make them? So cottage food laws also dictate where in the home you're going to make them as far as who's going to be allowed in there. Most of them don't allow children while you're working in the kitchen for, for cottage food businesses. They certainly don't allow pets of any animals in the kitchen and the area that you're prepping food and making food. They also don't allow smoking. There is also a limit as to how make the item and under cottage food laws, every single state will specifically dictate what it is that you can do and then how you can make them and what they expect from it.

Okay. And to be honest with you, that's kind of common sense. And it's kind of a cleanliness thing because you don't want obviously pets or kids, or a lot of people running around the kitchen area or whatever area that you're using to prepare these foods, to sell that there could be cat hair and dog hair, other things in the air. You don't want that. Obviously number eight, this is something that a lot of people don't actually realize, but some of the states do require collection of taxes and a remittance of that tax. So you need to check really specifically on this one, you may actually want to check with your accountant. If you have an accountant in the state that you're in and you're looking to create a cottage food business in that state, find out if you're supposed to collect sales tax. Normally there's a website that was in with each state that you can submit the money to the department of revenue.

It's actually the department of revenue of your state. So if you're in Texas, it would be the Texas state department of revenue. Or if it's in Florida, if it's in Georgia, the Georgia department of revenue and so on. So the state may actually require it. Some cottage food laws, believe it or not will require that. So I hope that answers you guys. The question, thank you so much for both of you and asking those questions. So what is cottage food law? It is going to be the variety of those eight things that I just mentioned. Make sure you find out specifically your state and what is needed and required. And what does cottage food law mean? Well, it gives you the opportunity to start a food business. And by the way, it's a great idea because if you were to, if you love cooking, you want to start a food business and you invested a lot of money into a commercial kitchen or a commercial facility, and it doesn't go over well.

And you know, you don't make money and you fold up, you could lose a lot more money than you would if you're actually working within your home, because the bulk of like your rent. Also, you have a lot of tax benefits with utilities and water your rent or your mortgage, all of that can be also tax benefits for your small business. When you're operating from home check with your accountant, of course I'm not an accountant. So don't take that as accounting advice, but there's a lot of benefits to doing it. And you don't have to have so much of an investment up front. And if it doesn't go over very well, or if you're looking to test something out, you have the ability to test it out at home, take it to farmer's markets, take it to local events, test it. If it doesn't go well, well then you know what, maybe you just need to find something else that you can do with your home as far as having a business.

So it's really a great idea in cottage food laws are set up for that specific purpose. If you're doing very well and you're selling out like crazy at farmer's markets, then maybe you should transition to a a local commercial kitchen, develop a better packaging, develop a professional looking label, get a nutritional label, and then start selling it to grocery stores. You can even get online. Like we do. We have a full-time business with our six stores on our e-commerce and we sell our baked goods, our candies, the snacks and food items. But of course we're commercially licensed and we're inspected by the part of agriculture. We had to have insurance and there's a lot more to it. But the idea of having a

Business startup where you're not investing hundreds of thousands of dollars or even thousands of dollars actually is a great idea. So check your state's cottage, food laws, check out those eight specific things, as I mentioned. And if you have questions about how to create a cottage food business, or what is cottage food laws, and what is the law for cottage food in my state, let us know down below in the comments section, ask us, we'll create some great content as a podcast. Also check out our resources in the below this video, we have a ton of resources that are absolutely free. We also have a website up and running as well, marketing foodonline.com. And of course, if that was helpful as always, please do give us a big thumbs up and I'll see you guys on our next party.



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