Selling Cookies By Mail?

Business By kansaswolf Updated 7 Jun 2010 , 11:08am by homebasedbaking

kansaswolf Posted 14 Mar 2010 , 6:52am
post #1 of 23

How does this work legally? Would I go by my home state regulations (I'm a legal home business in my state), or are there regulations about selling across state lines? Would I have to then check the state regulations for anywhere I'm selling to?

I'd really like to be able to sell these, and I've been asked about shipping, but I couldn't find any info on how to work that without violating any rules.

If anyone could help me out, that would be great!

22 replies
kansaswolf Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 5:45am
post #2 of 23

I've googled several times, but I'm just not coming up with anything yet... Help! icon_surprised.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 6:00am
post #3 of 23

I don't believe there are any problems with "crossing state lines". That is for plants and alcohol. As long as they are produced "legally" in your state, you can ship anywhere. Most previous post centered on packing/ breakage issues and wrapping/ prevent stale cookies issues.

If you can find a market for it- go for it. icon_biggrin.gif

julzs71 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 6:26am
post #4 of 23

hmmmm.....i on the other hand think you might not be able to sell them if your mailing out of state.

indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 8:10am
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by julzs71

hmmmm.....i on the other hand think you might not be able to sell them if your mailing out of state.


disagree. There are a number of cookies-for-sale-via-the-internet sites out there and they ship all over the country.

julzs71 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 9:49am
post #6 of 23

yeah, but are they home based or commercial?

julzs71 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 10:21am
post #7 of 23

cottage laws in ohio don't let you. only in state

KHalstead Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 11:05am
post #8 of 23

yep, julz is right....I'm in Ohio and can't ship across state lines (for money anyhow) I've shipped 1 yr. anniversary cakes to brides as "gifts" but you can't accept any money.

The law is that it must be consumed within the state.

indydebi Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 11:29am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by julzs71

yeah, but are they home based or commercial?


Not sure what difference it makes .... a business is a business. I was in a shop but considered my cookies "home baked" because it was the very same recipe and very same process I used at home. Only diff was the building and the oven I baked them in.

Didnt' know that about Ohio. Thanks for clarifying.

julzs71 Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 11:38am
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by julzs71

yeah, but are they home based or commercial?

Not sure what difference it makes .... a business is a business. I was in a shop but considered my cookies "home baked" because it was the very same recipe and very same process I used at home. Only diff was the building and the oven I baked them in.

Didnt' know that about Ohio. Thanks for clarifying.



It doesn't matter if it's the same recipe. It just matters which building you are in when you baked it and the regulations you followed.
Basically, in their eyes they keep a closer look on a bakery vs. home business and the rules for a bakery are more strict than a bakerty.

But Cottage laws are differnt than a licensed kitchen. So different states offer different things.

Cake-makerz Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:09pm
post #11 of 23

Is this all in America??
icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

KHalstead Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:14pm
post #12 of 23

Ohio IS in America, yes

Cake-makerz Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 1:22pm
post #13 of 23

Ok, and are these problems only in America ?
(or also in Europe?)

kansaswolf Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 6:11pm
post #14 of 23

Wow, okay, so I might not be able to then... Darn it...

I'm in MO, which (in the county I'm in) allows small home businesses without licensing/separate kitchen/inspections. I'm well within my legal rights to sell where I'm at, I just didn't know how shipping things other places would affect me. I was kind of thinking along the lines of, "I can sell my items HERE, but I can't sell them in a different state. Would the place of sale be HERE, since this is where I'll mail it from, or does it MATTER where it goes?"

johnson6ofus Posted 15 Mar 2010 , 6:58pm
post #15 of 23

Apparently julz in Ohio says "cottage industry" laws only allows for "in state" sales. Wouldn't a call to the local health inspection answer the question?Or am I being a simpleton about this?

kansaswolf Posted 16 Mar 2010 , 12:32am
post #16 of 23

See, that's where I get confused... I know I can sell in-state (Missouri), as long as the place I bake is in the correct county (which it is). But if I MAIL cookies somewhere out of state, is the point of sale the place I need to worry about regulations, or the place I send it to?

Sorry to cause confusion, but to be honest, I'm pretty confused!

homebasedbaking Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 10:11am
post #17 of 23

Federal Regulations for Selling Foods Online

Most ecommerce food merchants are interested in selling to consumers nationwide. But e-retailers need to consider local laws when they ask about doing business in another state; and it is important to understand which jurisdictions might apply to a given online transaction. In many cases, laws from the customerâs state are the ones that will apply in the event a problem arises. I will not address this further since you will need to obtain the legal information/requirements for your state. You will also want to contact your local health department and/or state department of agriculture or the regulatory agency that licensed your kitchen/facility.

How do I register a food facility online under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002?
The purpose of the Bioterrorism Act is to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities to quickly determine the source and cause of any deliberate or accidental contamination of food. This Act allows the FDA to identify these sources through information provided by registered food facilities prior to entry of food and beverages for human and animal consumption, including alcoholic beverages and chewing gum, into the U.S.

You will need to file a Prior Notice(FREE). You may obtain assistance filling the Prior Notice, by emailing, [email protected] You may also contact the Prior Notice Center at 1-866-521-2297 (outside the US 703-621-7728 or 7783) and the FURLS and Prior Notice System Help Desk.

FURLS and Prior Notice Help Desk
Contact: Mrs. Katrina
1-800-216-7331 or 301-575-0156

splymale Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 4:06pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Quote:

cottage laws in ohio don't let you. only in state

What about a home bakery license in oh
I haven't seen anything against selling out of state with this.


homebasedbaking Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 5:41pm
post #19 of 23

Please review the information from this link:
http://cookingwithdenay.com/home-based-bakers/state-cottage-laws/ohio/

Please note there are three bullets on the page that are pdfs and will provide you the information you need and if you do not see it just call one of the phone numbers for Ohio Food Safety ODA provided.

Hope this helps.
~Denay

splymale Posted 28 Mar 2010 , 5:59pm
post #20 of 23

I have a home bakery license, which is different than cottage food.
No biggie, I can call myself sometime, I was just curious.

KHalstead Posted 6 Jun 2010 , 9:01pm
post #21 of 23

splymale you're correct, if you're a "licensed home based bakery" then you can ship out of state and receive payment.

This is just a stipulation put on "cottage food" businesses. The fact is that as a cottage food bus. you don't have to be inspected and meet other criteria, so in order to "keep a handle" on the amount of people that come into contact with your product, you can only sell within the state! If you're a licensed home bakery, you've had inspections and have had to comply with other laws to get that, so you're free to sell to anyone like any other bakery with a storefront!

This is what was explained to me by the Ohio Dep. of Agriculture

Dreme Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 6:08am
post #22 of 23

I'm in the same situation. I have been asked if I can ship my cookies out of state. Does anyone know anything about NC?

homebasedbaking Posted 7 Jun 2010 , 11:08am
post #23 of 23

Since you live in North Carolina, a home-based baking state you first want to contact the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. Here is the link for home food processing http://www.agr.state.nc.us/fooddrug/food/homebiz.htm Give them a call and they can provide more information about selling across state lines.

When it comes to selling food products don't trust suggestions from food message boards, go straight to the agency that regulates.


Some ecommerce food merchants are interested in selling to consumers nationwide. But e-retailers need to consider local food laws when they ask about doing business in another state; and it is important to understand which jurisdictions might apply to a given online transaction. In many cases, food laws from the customers state are the ones that will apply in the event a problem arises and you need to obtain the legal information/requirements for your individual state. You may also want to contact your local health department and/or state department of agriculture or the regulatory agency that licensed your kitchen facility(home-based or otherwise).

How to register a food facility online under the Bioterrorism Act of 2002?
The purpose of the Bioterrorism Act is to allow the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities to quickly determine the source and cause of any deliberate or accidental contamination of food. This Act allows the FDA to identify these sources through information provided by registered food facilities prior to entry of food and beverages for human and animal consumption, including alcoholic beverages and chewing gum, into the U.S.

You will need to file a Prior Notice. You may obtain assistance filling the Prior Notice, by emailing, [email protected] You may also contact the Prior Notice Center at 1-866-521-2297 (outside the US 703-621-7728 or 7783) and the FURLS and Prior Notice System Help Desk.

FURLS and Prior Notice Help Desk
1-800-216-7331 or 301-575-0156

Hope this helps!

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