Can anyone tell me what kind of license etc is required to sell cookies/ cakes on Etsy? Is it just based on the cottage laws where the baker resides? TIA
I know for my state (Illinois) and New York (read the website today looking for someone else ) that internet sales under the cottage food law is not permitted. I don't know what state your located in but a search of your states cottage food laws and also internet food sales would probably help. Here is the link to the New York cottage laws for reference.
The whole idea of the cottage food laws was to encourage individuals to sell to friends and family - - the cottage industry. That precludes selling at a farmers' market or on-line. In Texas, you're not allowed to do that type of selling unless you have that particular license and a commercial kitchen.
Even if you're not working under the cottage food laws, selling edibles across state lines will involve following FDA regulations. They're very vague on what you need to do and who has exemptions if you have an inspected home kitchen. For someone working on cottage food laws it isn't allowed at all. You can sell locally but not online and not outside your state.
There are plenty of people selling food on Etsy but they might be renting a licensed commercial kitchen. They might be doing it illegally too, but unless you follow the laws you'll be in line for a big old mess if you get caught.
Thanks everyone. I have been trying to learn more about cottage laws but find it a bit confusing. I recently started making sugar cookies and a few close friends have asked me to make some for them. Just curious about options for selling them. I'm not really interested in selling on Etsy myself but have bought cookies several times there. As I have started to research, I became curious about how all of those people do that legally. JGifford- we are actually moving to Texas next week- do you happen to have any links for Texas Cottage Laws that you are familiar with? Thanks so much everyone!
I suggest you Google "Texas Cottage Food Law" and go from there.
*cottage food law
Sorry I missed your post, pilotbaby. We go to bed early and get up and at it about 3:00 am and I just got home. Here is a link to the Texas Dept. of State Health Services and the Cottage Food Law. . . .
Basically, you can bake various pies, cakes, cookies, breads and also sell spice mixes, etc., but you can't do candy or anything requiring refrigeration. Your packaging must carry a label stating the product was made in a kitchen not inspected by the Texas State Health Dept. You're not allowed to make more than $50,000 per year or you must go professional and have a business and commercial kitchen.
On the bright side, you don't have to collect Sales Tax since none of this is taxable. And the Heath Dept. can't inspect you unless they've received numerous complaints. You don't even have to have a business license, but I would suggest you get one anyway. There are no stipulations about pets and that's up to you, but speaking from experience I wouldn't advise it.
Hope this helps. Where in Texas are you moving?
And of course, I went back to read the law and it's updated so some of the things I was telling you are no longer valid. Figures.
Thank you so much for all of your help jgifford:). I had found a link a few weeks ago but I couldn't find the information that I needed so thought I was in the wrong place. Just realized today there is a little scroll bar at the top that takes you to the different sections of the page. We are headed to San Antonio- where are you? 3:00am is early! Do you have a bakery? Thanks again for all of your help. I will look into the licensing too!
Lucky you! San Antonio is rather warm but beautiful. I'm in Odessa which is hot and dry. My DH and I have a small restaurant and we open at 5:00 am. My cake business had to be put aside for a time since this area is NOT my target market. I don't have the time to decorate along with everything else, but we serve cakes, pies, cookies and cobblers as dessert options so I still get to bake.
If memory serves, there are several people on CC from San Antonio - maybe they can help you get started. Good luck!