Sorry if this information is posted elsewhere but I wanted quick verification. So I am just starting out, doing birthdays cakes for my friends and occasionally advertising on craigslist. I am in Ca, and saw all the posts about not selling cakes out your kitchen.
So stick with me here...so it is techinically illegal to sell a cake that was prepared and baked in your home to someone else?
How do they regualte this?
Am I really going to be caught if I am just making birthdays cakes on a small time scale?
Is it worth the risk? What is the punishment? LOL
Hi amy there is a section on the forum about cake bussiness there is a list to verify if your area allows home bussiness the penalty depends on the health department in your area depending on the law for that hope this helps good luck
Selling food made from your home kitchen is illegal in CA. If you stay under the radar (i.e. selling only to family and close friends) you probably won't get caught, but people tend to run into trouble when they start advertising and selling to people outside their circle. This "trouble" typically takes the form of the health department closing you down and telling you what to do if you want to be legal. If you keep selling after the health dept closed you down, you could face bigger penalties.
The biggest issue is liability. If you sell someone food in a commercial transaction (even if it's just the cost of ingredients) and they get sick, you could face a big lawsuit, which you would probably lose if you were baking illegally. And since you have no LLC protection, they can go after your personal assets, including your home. Businesses typically purchase liability insurance to protect themselves (the insurance company would pay for the lawyers and the judgment if there is no malice), but I doubt you can get insured as an illegal business.
Another issue is income tax. If you don't declare your business activities, the IRS can come after you for back taxes and penalties.
If you have no plans to expand beyond selling to family and close friends, you don't advertise, and you don't tell anyone you don't trust about your business, you are probably OK. Otherwise, start looking for a rental commercial kitchen (there should be several in your area).
Thank you so much. I am just starting pastry school and want to be as legitimate as possible. Its a little disappointing, but I will just bake for my own pleasure until I get to a spot where I can afford to expand.
I have my food handler's license and live in CA
I have been baking out of my home for my sons school and cakes/cookies for my girlfriends co workers.
I called the the Health Department and it is illegal to bake in your home. I was sad...
So i only bake for those people mentioned above and cross my fingers my training has paid off and I know how to prevent food borne illness!!!
I bleach wash my entire kitchen! I wash my hands with hot water and soap dry with single use paper towels. There is no eating or drinking in the kitchen while i"m baking and no animals in the house.
But I have an interview with a local bakery so I might be shifting my business to them if i get hired!!