Srkstrickland Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 2:31pm
post #1 of

ASo I am incredibly upset with my ignorance. I started dabbling in cake decorating about 3 years ago but have just started taking off this past year and was really beginning to feel confident. I have even been asked to do a wedding cake! So I was on here browsing and came across information about copyright laws. Well all my best and most recent cakes have been characters! Spiderman, Angry Birds, Yo Gabba Gabba. So you can imagine me, not having known about these laws, feeling so terribly discouraged. I removed them all from my FB cakes album and more than half my cakes are gone from my "portfolio" and I pretty much have to start over, right when I was feeling like I could take the next step. I have a Power Rangers cake coming up in January so I have to make sure I do it right and lawfully. I do not have a business license yet so I have not been charging anyone but it is something I know I need to look into ASAP especially if I am to do a wedding cake and charge for it. Please, is there anything else I need to be careful of? I don't want to get in trouble and I really want to do this forever so I need to get going right :(

19 replies
fcakes Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 2:53pm
post #2 of

yes, getting a license is the first step. Also look into liability insurance.

 

For character cakes from now on, maybe you could create the backdrop and have the customer add their own toy figures? I've seen many businesses post on their FB pics that "character toys were added by client". This way, the cake could still be in your portfolio and you'll not be taking any risk.

Srkstrickland Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 3:22pm
post #3 of

ASo if I buy the toy I cannot put it on the cake? I have been confused by that..

Original message sent by fcakes

yes, getting a license is the first step. Also look into liability insurance.

For character cakes from now on, maybe you could create the backdrop and have the customer add their own toy figures? I've seen many businesses post on their FB pics that "character toys were added by client". This way, the cake could still be in your portfolio and you'll not be taking any risk.

shanter Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 4:52pm
post #4 of

Yes, you can put the figures on yourself. By buying the toys, you are buying the right to use them. It doesn't matter who puts them on the cake. Just include the cost of the toys in the price of the cake. It is the cakes with figures and emblems, etc., made by the cake maker that are copyright infringement.

LKing12 Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 5:19pm
post #5 of

You didn't say where you are located?  I, too, started to bake cakes and then found out that I could not do them legally in my state.  So, we built a commercial kitchen on our property and now I am licensed, permitted and insured. 

jason_kraft Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 5:40pm
post #6 of

A

Original message sent by shanter

Yes, you can put the figures on yourself. By buying the toys, you are buying the right to use them. It doesn't matter who puts them on the cake.

This.

Don't forget to include your markup (to cover overhead) when you charge your customer for the cost of the figures.

jason_kraft Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 5:45pm
post #7 of

AThere are several different legal areas where you should be compliant: - Health dept (some states allow home baking businesses, others require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen) - Copyright law - Business license (usually with your city) - Zoning (city) - HOA regulations (if any) - Fictitious business name (county) - Liability insurance (usually not legally required but still a necessity) - Sales tax - Income tax - Business structure (if you want an LLC)

Srkstrickland Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 5:47pm
post #8 of

A I am in SC. I am waiting on a call back from someone at the health department as we speak. I believe I read 6 years ago the law was that yes, you did have to use a commercial kitchen, but my fingers are crossed that that has changed since 2006. Probably not considering my luck. I don't know what I'll do if I can't bake in my home.

Original message sent by LKing12

You didn't say where you are located?  I, too, started to bake cakes and then found out that I could not do them legally in my state.  So, we built a commercial kitchen on our property and now I am licensed, permitted and insured. 

Srkstrickland Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 5:49pm
post #9 of

AWow....I've got a long way to go.

Original message sent by jason_kraft

There are several different legal areas where you should be compliant: - Health dept (some states allow home baking businesses, others require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen) - Copyright law - Business license (usually with your city) - Zoning (city) - HOA regulations (if any) - Fictitious business name (county) - Liability insurance (usually not legally required but still a necessity) - Sales tax - Income tax - Business structure (if you want an LLC)

Srkstrickland Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 7:32pm

ASo, just got off the phone with DHEC and SC does have a cottage law! Just put in place this past June. Yay me! I'm excited now and feeling a bit better. So going to do my research on that now :)

remnant3333 Posted 6 Dec 2012 , 7:55pm

SRKstrickland, Where are you at in SC? I  live in Charleston. SC.  Just wondering if you are near me.  Good luck to you in your business.  I am sure you will do just fine!!! I enjoy dabbling in cakes but I only do it for fun.  I don't think I would ever want to make a business out of it. I am retired and only do it for a couple of kids and a few family members.

/ Mary
 

Srkstrickland Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 1:49pm

A Hi Mary :) I'm in Columbia. Love Charleston, very beautiful area. Thank you so much for the luck. I don't want to rush it, just want to make sure I'm doing it lawfully at this point. I would love to have a store front in the next 5-10 years. Still need lots of practice :)

Original message sent by remnant3333

SRKstrickland, Where are you at in SC? I  live in Charleston. SC.  Just wondering if you are near me.  Good luck to you in your business.  I am sure you will do just fine!!! I enjoy dabbling in cakes but I only do it for fun.  I don't think I would ever want to make a business out of it. I am retired and only do it for a couple of kids and a few family members. / Mary

 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 6:32pm

AI am in Charleston! There is a cottage food law fb page for those of us in SC. Lots of useful info there! Also, we have a great ICES group here in te Lowcountry.

remnant3333 Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 7:16pm

Is the Ices group for just businesses? I vaguely remember one being held at Trident College on Rivers Avenue one year. When is the next Ices going to be held? I know there is a fee but not sure if it is for just business owners or can anybody who does caking as a hobby go?

Thanks/Mary
 

cakegrandma Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 8:56pm

Just to get back to the original post for a moment.  Even if you are in a Cottage Food Act state or one that requires a license it is still against the Copyright Law to recreate a licensed character.  For instance, if someone were to make a Mickey Mouse hat in green it still has all the features of a Mickey Mouse hat/ears. This is not legal as it is still recognizable as Mickey ears.  It is best to do the set up like others have suggested and then put purchased characters on the cake.  No sense taking a chance on getting fined for infringement.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 11:19pm

ICES isn't for businesses at all.  It's really for individuals.  Many of the members do have businesses, but it's really just a bunch of decorators sharing techniques etc.

 

This is a link to the SC ICES group.  http://www.scices.com/  You can also learn more about International Cake Exploration Society at www.ICES.org 

 

This is a link to the Facebook group of the SC Cottage Food Law  https://www.facebook.com/SCCottageFoodLaw

 

Good to know there are more of us here in SC!

remnant3333 Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 11:20pm

Thanks for the link!! I appreciate it. Maybe I will be at the next one they have!!!/Mary
 

DeliciousDesserts Posted 7 Dec 2012 , 11:35pm

Also, if you send me a pm, I'll give you my contact info.  Good to know someone close!

Dani1081 Posted 8 Dec 2012 , 1:45am

Another note about the original post - if you haven't charged for those cakes, you are not profiting from their copyright. You are using it for your own personal use.  Not sure it's really a problem until you start making money from it. 

Srkstrickland Posted 10 Dec 2012 , 12:37pm

AThe guy from the health department called me back and explained the cottage law to me also giving me a link to the website. I'm so excited it's that simple! I was so worried I would have to find a commercial kitchen, I really didn't know how I would do it with my little ones. Thank you so much for the info on the support groups! I will definitely be checking them out! :)

Original message sent by DeliciousDesserts

I am in Charleston! There is a cottage food law fb page for those of us in SC. Lots of useful info there! Also, we have a great ICES group here in te Lowcountry.

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