Urgent Legality Question! Input Needed!

Decorating By tx_cupcake Updated 24 Sep 2008 , 4:05am by Mac

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 1:41pm
post #1 of 12

I live in Texas. I do not bake in a commercial kitchen and am not licensed. I know that this means I can not legally sell anything I make.

That being said, I was asked yesterday by my MIL to donate my services to a charity event she is helping to organize. Basically, I would be creating a "gift certificate" to be raffled off. Technically, I wouldn't be selling a cake because it's charity, and the cake is a donation. The winner of the raffle would not be paying me for the cake, and the cake would be made at a later date for whatever occasion the winner chooses.

I hope this makes sense.

Anyway, I have to get back with my MIL by the end of the week to let her know whether I'm in or out. It's for a really great cause (cancer research), and I feel honored that she has asked me to be a part of the event. However, I am not sure whether or not my participation is legal.

Any thoughts?

11 replies
jbart Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 1:54pm
post #2 of 12

I think you would be ok because it is donating not selling.

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 5:36pm
post #3 of 12

That's what I was thinking, but I'm also biased. icon_wink.gif

I didn't know if anyone else had done something similar...

Naturepixie Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 5:46pm
post #4 of 12

I think you would be okay just donating a cake. But you might let someone else with more business and law knowledge help you out.. icon_biggrin.gif

Dawanka Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 5:55pm
post #5 of 12

I'm in CT and I am doing the same thing and its for a bunch of lawyers and I was told it was okay.

cakesbycathy Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 7:43pm
post #6 of 12

I know we have a lot of members from TX, so I'm going to bump this up a little to see if any of them can help.

IMO, since it is a donation and you are not being compensated in any way (either in cash or supplies/ingredients form), I think you should be fine.

OhMyGanache Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 7:57pm
post #7 of 12

I think legally you are good as long as you do not assign a dollar value to the gift certificate. If it just says "good for a 9" cake" or a dozen cookies or whatever, you should be fine.

I would be more concerned about liability if someone gets sick.

CindiM Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 8:00pm
post #8 of 12

You could call the Health Dept or the Texas Department of Agriculture, who ever is over food preparation in Texas and get the real answer. thumbs_up.gif

tx_cupcake Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 8:11pm
post #9 of 12
Originally Posted by CindiM

You could call the Health Dept or the Texas Department of Agriculture, who ever is over food preparation in Texas and get the real answer. thumbs_up.gif

Ironically, today I tried doing just that. The man I spoke with couldn't quite get his brain around my question. He kept citing health department codes and telling me I need to contact my county. Then he put me on hold. Then I was disconnected. thumbsdown.gif

CindiM Posted 23 Sep 2008 , 8:37pm
post #10 of 12

I would call your county offices. Every thing else is an opinion. You need the facts.

I am under the Dept of Ag in Florida and they are wonderful and very helpful.

1234me Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 1:51am
post #11 of 12

my county is controlled by the people in Austin although I am near DFW. The guys I have talked to in Austin have been so nice. The inspectors who have come, from my county, have been nice too.

They aren't paying you for anything so you aren't selling. I think you should be ok! I recently donated two gift certificates for a golf tournament this weekend here in town - I wonder who got them? icon_smile.gif

Mac Posted 24 Sep 2008 , 4:05am
post #12 of 12

Sorry but here in East Texas, you can't even give it away if it is public event. A charity event or silent auction is considered a public event. It doesn't really have anything to do with "selling", it is food that is cooked in an un-inspected kitchen being given to an un-suspecting public.

When I was caught and fined by the HD, I made some cookies for a Senior Expo. The home health company was giving the cookies away. Since they didn't have the proper permit to give away unpackaged food, they asked if they were baked in an inspected kitchen.

Sorry to put a damper on your event but I would not risk it. The HD has been really great about helping me get my rented kitchen up and running and letting me know what all permits I needed.

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