While I'm Waiting On The Cottage Food Law Is It Ok To. . . .

Business By forheavenscake Updated 14 Jun 2011 , 2:13am by sebrina

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:18pm
post #1 of 68

Hi Everyone!

I live in FL and the Cottage Food Law is waiting to be signed by the Governor (it's already passed) and it will be effective July 1st.

My question is, is it ok to go ahead and get a website up and running advertising my product BEFORE July 1st but not actually take any orders until after July?

I am trying to prepare as best I can and wanted to get everything going, but don't want to do anything wrong either.

Your opinions are appreciated!! Thanks so much!!

67 replies
leah_s Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:46pm
post #2 of 68

It's not that far into the future. I'd get everything ready to go and make it live on the legal date - July 1. You don't want to get this close and get a citation.

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:55pm
post #3 of 68

Thank you!

TinkerCakes Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 1:27pm
post #4 of 68

I'm in Florida too, although I'm not ready to start a business yet, I want to in the future. I asked this question in another thread and no one answered... maybe the OP can help me....

I heard you could have a website to show your cakes but not sell them...
but this part of the Bill has me confused....

"A cottage food operation may not sell or offer for sale cottage food products over the Internet, by mail order, or at wholesale."

I understand you can't sell on the internet, have a shopping cart, etc...got it.
BUT it says "OFFER"...to me that says I can't even have a website/facebook that says I sell cakes.

If that is what it means, than so be it, I'm just glad we can sell baked goods at all.......I would love to be wrong about it though!

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 1:50pm
post #5 of 68

I'm not in Florida; I've been following this issue just to keep informed. I'm happy for all of you who'll be able to sell.

But I've been reading all along that you cannot sell over the Internet, by mail order, or wholesale. You cannot advertise your cakes, so it makes no sense to start a website. You would be doing something illegal now, and will be doing something illegal even when the bill is signed.

Hope someone comes over and clarifies all the questions.

dst10spr97 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 2:08pm
post #6 of 68

I'm interested in hearing comments on this too because I am working on getting a website done to display my cakes and information about my business. I am also in Florida. Of course it won't go live until sometime in July but I wanted to be prepared.

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 2:54pm
post #7 of 68

Well, I guess now I'm confused. I was under the understanding that we can "advertise" our cakes, but not sell or ship them over the internet etc. In other words, they cannot order a cake online but they can see what I offer and call me to get quotes etc. I spoke with someone at the department of agriculture the other day but I don't think I asked her this question specifically. I will be calling her back once the bill is signed to confirm.

In the meantime if anyone else has a clue to this please let me know!

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:00pm
post #8 of 68

K. . .I just googled and found a post regarding this. Granted it's for Michigan not FL, but their verbage is the same as FL's so I'm HOPING it would mean the same thing.

Anyway, someone asked if they can advertise but not sell and a representative for Michigan said yes, they could advertise on the internet and other means but they may not SELL or ORDER from said advertisement, it must be a person to person contact/sale.

I think we can have our websites, we just can't sell anything from them.

imagenthatnj Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:05pm
post #9 of 68

I just read something that might clarify things a bit because it might be the same thing for the Florida Cottage Food Law.

It is from a Michigan Cottage Food Law discussion somewhere else. This is what it says. Now I can understand better.

slparker, maybe you should go ahead and get your website ready but not let it go live till July 1?

------
While you can advertise your product on the Internet, you cannot take orders and ship directly to consumers. Sales and product delivery must be directly from the producer to the consumer, in a person-to-person transaction, and not delivered by mail. You can advertise on the Internet but cannot take orders for delivery by mail, or other carrier. There must be personal contact between you and the consumer. Advertising is allowed; however, the actual sale must be made person-to-person between the producer and the consumer.
------

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:13pm
post #10 of 68

That's what I'm thinking. I have never created a website before. I am going to use one of those Free Hosting websites. . .do you get to choose when it goes live or does it automatically get put out there when you finish designing it??

sebrina Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:16pm
post #11 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

I just read something that might clarify things a bit because it might be the same thing for the Florida Cottage Food Law.

It is from a Michigan Cottage Food Law discussion somewhere else. This is what it says. Now I can understand better.

slparker, maybe you should go ahead and get your website ready but not let it go live till July 1?

------
While you can advertise your product on the Internet, you cannot take orders and ship directly to consumers. Sales and product delivery must be directly from the producer to the consumer, in a person-to-person transaction, and not delivered by mail. You can advertise on the Internet but cannot take orders for delivery by mail, or other carrier. There must be personal contact between you and the consumer. Advertising is allowed; however, the actual sale must be made person-to-person between the producer and the consumer.
------




So, I'm guessing we CAN email back & forth with the clients as long as there is no third party involved? Does that sound right to you guys too? I couldn't imagine not being able to message or email pictures back & forth... Sounds to me like they are just trying to protect buyers from scams. Or maybe for tracking, in case someone does not know food safety & ends up producing something that could make people sick.

Crazboutcakes Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:35pm
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by slparker

K. . .I just googled and found a post regarding this. Granted it's for Michigan not FL, but their verbage is the same as FL's so I'm HOPING it would mean the same thing.

Anyway, someone asked if they can advertise but not sell and a representative for Michigan said yes, they could advertise on the internet and other means but they may not SELL or ORDER from said advertisement, it must be a person to person contact/sale.

I think we can have our websites, we just can't sell anything from them.




I also live in Fl and this was what I got out of the it too. I have another question regarding this. Has anyone in Fl had a hard time trying to register in the county? I spoke to someone at the dept of agriculture and she wouldn't give me the time of day until July 1st! Any one have any suggestions one if there is someone else I can speak too?

ANy directions would be helpful. Thanks

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 3:38pm
post #13 of 68

@crazboutcakes: I spoke with a lady there and she was super nice. She answered my questions, but she was careful about what she said since the bill hasn't been signed and they still have to write the rules (or something like that) for it. She told me to call back in July so she could give me more specific/accurate answers. Sorry you got someone crabby. What were your questions? Maybe I asked her one of them and I can tell you what she told me.

cakesnglass Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 4:07pm
post #14 of 68

I also live in Fla. the Planning Dept. requires a permit to operate a home business in a residential area. Plus an occupational license from the county... still looking into Health Dept. and Waste Management.

forheavenscake Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 4:09pm
post #15 of 68

I knew about the occupational license, but what is the planning department?

jason_kraft Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 4:12pm
post #16 of 68

City planning departments handle zoning for different parts of the city. For example, in some cities you cannot run a business out of your home if you live in an area zoned a certain way. This would override the state cottage food law.

Crazboutcakes Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 4:09am
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by slparker

@crazboutcakes: I spoke with a lady there and she was super nice. She answered my questions, but she was careful about what she said since the bill hasn't been signed and they still have to write the rules (or something like that) for it. She told me to call back in July so she could give me more specific/accurate answers. Sorry you got someone crabby. What were your questions? Maybe I asked her one of them and I can tell you what she told me.




I really apprieciate that icon_lol.gif , all I wanted to find out from her what paper work I need to have and where I could get it and what my next steps were gonna be! Wasn't anything hard but she would not give me the time of day, and I still don't know icon_cry.gificon_biggrin.gif ? Anything would be greatfully apprieciated Thanks so much.

forheavenscake Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 12:07pm
post #18 of 68

That was the last question I asked her and she said she wouldn't be 100% until the bill was signed and rules were written. So she told me to call back in July so she could give me specific answers to those questions.

So in the meantime I'm just getting things ready. . .website, business cards, pricing etc. Then come July I can find out what legal things I need to do.

I just hope it's not too complicated!! LOL All I wanna do is legally bake a few cakes. . nothing crazy!

sebrina Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 12:44pm
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by slparker

I just hope it's not too complicated!! LOL All I wanna do is legally bake a few cakes. . nothing crazy!




Ugh. Me too. I have this fear it is gonna be a huge pain to figure out what all has to be done. Maybe we can keep this thread alive to help guide each other as we find out new info?

forheavenscake Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 12:52pm
post #20 of 68

I think that's a great idea. At least we won't feel alone along the way. LOL

Crazboutcakes Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 2:58pm
post #21 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrina

Quote:
Originally Posted by slparker

I just hope it's not too complicated!! LOL All I wanna do is legally bake a few cakes. . nothing crazy!



Ugh. Me too. I have this fear it is gonna be a huge pain to figure out what all has to be done. Maybe we can keep this thread alive to help guide each other as we find out new info?




That would be so perfect. I am origanally from NY moved to Florida 2 years ago (TOO Cold) and I really feel out of my relm regarding the laws of Florida. I would appriecate some help from the locals per say icon_lol.gif To help on what you know and experiences to guide me though. Believe it or not the laws here are much different than there so all the help I can get would be fantastic. Thanks Lets keep it going thumbs_up.gif

cakesnglass Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 3:31pm
post #22 of 68

In my area the planning Dept. is part of building and zoning (what type of area u live in Res./Comm. and what type of business can be in that area. I did find out a while back that I can sell and get permit/lic. to make non-human edible items - dog treats etc. with one employee in my residencial area.

sebrina Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 3:41pm
post #23 of 68

I am in an unincorporated area. We are not considered a city & we are maintained by the county. I am betting this is gonna blow their mind. I wonder how I am going to figure out how I am zoned...

BORIKS03 Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 3:44pm
post #24 of 68

I guess I will wait until everything is finalized.

sadsmile Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 3:59pm
post #25 of 68

There is going to be more to this then OK go sell cakes now. Your local health department will be involved Country rules, neighborhood restrictions from HOA"s and not enthusiastically at first, as the law will be new. There will be rules and restrictions so I wouldn't get too happy just yet.

sweetsirten Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 4:06pm
post #26 of 68

Hi guys! I am just running across this thread and I think it's great icon_smile.gif I am in Florida as well, and I didn't realize I was illegal until a couple months ago when I saw everything about the Cottage Food Bill. I stopped taking paid orders (except for the one wedding cake I had already promised to do for a friend), and decided to wait until July 1 to start again. I do still have pricing on my blog ... I guess I should take that page down for the time being. I did read on my county's website that I will have to have a 'Home Occupation Permit' from the county to be legal - I was planning on giving them a call at the end of the month to get the ball rolling on it.

I look forward to keeping this thread going, so that we can all help each other out in this new adventure! It is so exciting! icon_biggrin.gif

sebrina Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 4:10pm
post #27 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

There is going to be more to this then OK go sell cakes now. Your local health department will be involved Country rules, neighborhood restrictions from HOA"s and not enthusiastically at first, as the law will be new. There will be rules and restrictions so I wouldn't get too happy just yet.




Yeah, I don't think anything would ever be that easy. LOL! But I am still gonna get happy about it! Everything has to start somewhere! icon_biggrin.gif

Crazboutcakes Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 4:33pm
post #28 of 68

I building that I live in already has a commerical business attached to it and many other commercial businesses in the area and than go across the street and it's a 55+ community mostly for snow birds, and than usually are all gone or going about this time so I would be interested to know if it would be zoned business or residental!

TinkerCakes Posted 4 Jun 2011 , 5:44pm
post #29 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sebrina

Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

There is going to be more to this then OK go sell cakes now. Your local health department will be involved Country rules, neighborhood restrictions from HOA"s and not enthusiastically at first, as the law will be new. There will be rules and restrictions so I wouldn't get too happy just yet.



Yeah, I don't think anything would ever be that easy. LOL! But I am still gonna get happy about it! Everything has to start somewhere! icon_biggrin.gif




You are right...We all SHOULD be excited and happy, this is wonderful for Florida Home Bakers! It is always hard starting a new business. I'm sure some of us will not be able to, due to zoning, etc....but many WILL. No reason to not be happy, if I can't start a home business then I'll be in the same boat I'm in right now....and I will find another way, rent a kitchen...whatever I have to.
I don't plan to start right away but I am happy for those of you that are!

forheavenscake Posted 5 Jun 2011 , 4:02pm
post #30 of 68

Question (if anyone knows). . .do we have to list our address on our advertising?? I thought I saw somewhere that we have to list our address but am a little concerned about that considering it's our HOME! LOL

Just curious to know if someone has heard about that?

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