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If it's illegal to sell cakes from home, can I do this? - Page 7

post #91 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly

I'm amazed that a HD person would "give permission" to someone to sell cakes to "just family/friends" in a state that doesn't allow home kitchens to be licensed.

Is this "permission" he gave "in writing as law"? icon_confused.gif Is it "an exception" to the current law? IDK...I'm just asking.

Here's an interesting scenerio...an unlicensed baker sells a wedding cake to a family member (with permission from the HD inspector)....people at the wedding who don't know the baker get ill or have an allergic reaction to something in the cake, inevitably they sue the baker. Will that HD inspector stand behind his "word" that he gave the baker permission to sell to "family/friends"?

That's a chance I'd be afraid to take.

There are just too many gray areas when it comes to this.

To the OP, I know it's frustrating....I lived in a state for 20 yrs that didn't allow home kitchens to be licensed...we moved to MA 5 yrs ago because I wanted to pursue this business. Personally, I always felt that the repercussions that could come from selling cakes illegally were just not worth the risk of losing my home.

I think that's the important thing to think about. Does the reward outweigh the risk?...for me it didn't.



A couple years ago my mother told me the same thing and I read through the laws in Minnesota because I didn't believe it and there was no written exception at the time that I could find.

I didn't believe it because it's a state where any goodies brought to school have to come in a sealed container from a store, no exceptions. If you break the seal on the box of cupcakes to take out a few for home they can not serve it at the school. I figured a state that is that rigid about some cupcakes for a birthday at school wouldn't have any exceptions for any food products.



Just because the people who are supposed to enforce the law don't doesn't mean that it's legal. A good example is kids drinking up here on the res. When I met my husband the big thing was for underage kids to drive around in the town on the reservation and drink, they didn't even bother to put whatever they were drinking in new containers. If the cops did pull them over they would hardly ever arrest, ticket or fine them. The standard was to take the booze away and tell them that they didn't want to see them in town again that night.

Generally the kids would just drive around on the back road after they got new stuff to drink. I have no reason to believe that it's different now than it was 10 years ago.

Their lack of enforcement certainly didn't mean that it was actually LEGAL to drive around drinking underage in town. It also didn't mean that if the cops had wanted the kids couldn't have been in a huge amount of trouble either.
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post #92 of 133
Wow mbelgard, that's an unbelievable story....just crazy.
post #93 of 133
I don't actually disagree, dkelly. That is why I gave away all my cakes--for four years. However, I think you could be missing the point in that if I GAVE a wedding cake to a relative and someone at the party got sick, they could still sue me. Just the same as if they tripped on my front porch. Anyone can sue anyone for anything. None of that has anything to do with payment or with the health department. That is a liability question and it comes into play every time I have someone over to my house for dinner or take a cake or a casserole to a friend's house.

I think what everyone is saying is that the health departments are interpreting the law to mean that you can't have a food business from an unlicensed kitchen. The interpretation is with respect to when it becomes a business.

If a group of us are all giving a wedding shower and splitting expenses and I do the cake, that is clearly not "selling' (But if someone gets sick, we might still be sued). If two of my friends are giving a shower and ask me as a favor to make the cake and offer to pay my expenses is that selling? This is not so clear.

Though I didn't take money til I found a licensed kitchen to share, that was my choice and clearly follows a minority opinion. My health department would have allowed it, and yes I think they would have come to court and stood behind their decision, as long as I could prove I didn't have a business and did cakes only for close friends as a favor--not for profit.

But if you really can't sell ANY food from an unlicensed kitchen, what about the cub scout dime-a-dip dinner where everyone brings something? Or all the times I organized/cooked dinner for the marching band and they paid me back? And yeah, they could have sued. The question is could they have won?
post #94 of 133
If you look up the meaning of business it states "goods or services exchanged for money on the basis of perceived worth." So anytime you take money for a cake you are in "business". A HD person may tell you that they won't bother you and probably 99 times out of a 100 they would not as they are too busy inspecting the restaurants and other places that they do. Let someone call and tell them that you are selling cakes out of your house, like the lady 2 blocks behind you that does the same thing and has lost some customers to you, and guess who is going to be at your door. MS. HD that said she would look the other way. I saw it happen in Atlanta, I don't know if the person turned in was done so by another caker or not but she was turned in and told if she persisted she would be fined. Myself, I think a kitchen to rent or use is better. I think that by doing so, you can go a little bigger and the occasional cake can turn into a rewarding hobby and eventually a great business if you want it to.
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post #95 of 133
This sort of gray area exists with many laws.

In my area, when they changed the speed limit to 65, the sherriff was on the news saying that they will give people a few mile per hour radius, especially if they are passing someone. I don't think many people get pulled over for going 66 or even 67.

I don't think people should have a business where their law states they should not have a business, but it appears that most HD do not think being reimbursed for ingredients or selling a cake to a family or friend is a violation of the SPIRIT of the laws they intend to uphold.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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post #96 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegrandma

If you look up the meaning of business it states "goods or services exchanged for money on the basis of perceived worth." So anytime you take money for a cake you are in "business".



I disagree. We already saw from the posting of the Texas definitions upthread that learning the definition for one term only leads to more questions. I'll stick to the way my local official interprets the law and is helping me to follow it (yes, FOLLOW the law, not evade it).
post #97 of 133
The inspector from our HD made the point that even if you're not a licensed business, the IRS will probably still be interested in any income that you get from cakes. Or the value of bartered items. Or "reimbursement" for ingredients. If you do ever get fined for some reason, they'll probably start looking into your back sales tax and your income taxes, too.

And to head off the inevitable, yes, the IRS website says that babysitting and other forms of petty cash earning jobs are supposed to be counted as income tax. And no, not many people pay employment taxes for their babysitters, but when they do get caught not paying they also get fined (think of all the politicians who have illegal immigrant nannies and got busted.)
post #98 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

The inspector from our HD made the point that even if you're not a licensed business, the IRS will probably still be interested in any income that you get from cakes. Or the value of bartered items. Or "reimbursement" for ingredients. If you do ever get fined for some reason, they'll probably start looking into your back sales tax and your income taxes, too.

And to head off the inevitable, yes, the IRS website says that babysitting and other forms of petty cash earning jobs are supposed to be counted as income tax. And no, not many people pay employment taxes for their babysitters, but when they do get caught not paying they also get fined (think of all the politicians who have illegal immigrant nannies and got busted.)



You're right, everyone should pay all taxes due. Taxes can be evaded on licensed and unlicensed businesses....wether they deal in cake or not. The IRS didn't care that Heidi Fleiss was a madam, but that she didn't pay her taxes on that business. Even drug dealers have to pay taxes. And I doubt the IRS will contact your local HD to see if you passed your last HD inspection, and if you (general you) got your license suspended until you cleaned up your act and if you made any cakes in the interim and what cakes did you make until your license was reinstated so they can contact the HD etc. ad nauseum....
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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post #99 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakemom777

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

The inspector from our HD made the point that even if you're not a licensed business, the IRS will probably still be interested in any income that you get from cakes. Or the value of bartered items. Or "reimbursement" for ingredients. If you do ever get fined for some reason, they'll probably start looking into your back sales tax and your income taxes, too.

And to head off the inevitable, yes, the IRS website says that babysitting and other forms of petty cash earning jobs are supposed to be counted as income tax. And no, not many people pay employment taxes for their babysitters, but when they do get caught not paying they also get fined (think of all the politicians who have illegal immigrant nannies and got busted.)



You're right, everyone should pay all taxes due. Taxes can be evaded on licensed and unlicensed businesses....wether they deal in cake or not. The IRS didn't care that Heidi Fleiss was a madam, but that she didn't pay her taxes on that business. Even drug dealers have to pay taxes. And I doubt the IRS will contact your local HD to see if you passed your last HD inspection, and if you (general you) got your license suspended until you cleaned up your act and if you made any cakes in the interim and what cakes did you make until your license was reinstated so they can contact the HD etc. ad nauseum....



Hmm, this gets complicated. You pay taxes on all the stuff you bought to make the cake--you are more getting reimbursed than making a taxable income showing profit.

I mean that's where the part about it not being a business comes in. You have to have a FEIN to pay sales tax in 10C if you don't have a FEIN you can't pay them.

I mean we should all go get FEIN's for our non-businesses so we can double pay taxes on our cakes that the the health department could care less about because we are not businesses in the first place.

Deliver me!

I say let's celebrate our freedom while we still have some yes?
Not to mention sanity.
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post #100 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I say let's celebrate our freedom while we still have some yes?



Mmmmm hmmmm. Do ya think everyone will be given monthly vouchers for cake? I mean, vodka and bread, yes, that's a given! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif
post #101 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I say let's celebrate our freedom while we still have some yes?



Mmmmm hmmmm. Do ya think everyone will be given monthly vouchers for cake? I mean, vodka and bread, yes, that's a given! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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post #102 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I say let's celebrate our freedom while we still have some yes?



Mmmmm hmmmm. Do ya think everyone will be given monthly vouchers for cake? I mean, vodka and bread, yes, that's a given! icon_twisted.gificon_lol.gif



Probably not with this administration icon_rolleyes.gif



Itsacake.......yes I agree even when we "give" away our food/cakes we could get sued if someone fell ill or worse. That's why I think it's smart to become a legal licensed & insured business, no matter how big or small.....cake business that is.
post #103 of 133
So has anyone gotten fined or any kind of other trouble for sellin a cake out of their house? Has anyone claimed to have gotten sick from a cake? I just dont understand how they would be able to pin point the cake as the food that got them sick from if it was a wedding or party that had other food they ate. I think the only people who you would have trouble with would be someone who is jealous or someone who was unhappy with their cake. And of coarse the whole tax issue....
post #104 of 133
Y'know what I think and this is just me--there's much worse things than getting sued like going to the dentist for example. I mean draw the line wherever you want for yourself but all they're gonna get is my house. And I like my house but dude, take it.

We'll have to move and live somewhere else.

I do not fear getting sued and I do not live my life based around getting sued or not getting sued.

The only person ever got sick eating my cake was a diabetic who knew better than to eat it but she loved my butter pecan with toffee filling & had a rum splash in the cake.

Several years ago right after my Mom passed away, I made a cake for a new work place I was at. I think my Mom spiked it or something --it was magically delicious. It was absolutely amazing. I mean I've made the cake forever--this one was different. And my little diabetic friend had some of that cake and every time I made it after that she ate too much which probably one piece was too much but she din sue me. She got me orders.

Thanks Mom, love you
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post #105 of 133
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Y'know what I think and this is just me--there's much worse things than getting sued like going to the dentist for example. I mean draw the line wherever you want for yourself but all they're gonna get is my house. And I like my house but dude, take it.

We'll have to move and live somewhere else.

I do not fear getting sued and I do not live my life based around getting sued or not getting sued.

The only person ever got sick eating my cake was a diabetic who knew better than to eat it but she loved my butter pecan with toffee filling & had a rum splash in the cake.

Several years ago right after my Mom passed away, I made a cake for a new work place I was at. I think my Mom spiked it or something --it was magically delicious. It was absolutely amazing. I mean I've made the cake forever--this one was different. And my little diabetic friend had some of that cake and every time I made it after that she ate too much which probably one piece was too much but she din sue me. She got me orders.

Thanks Mom, love you



That makes me guffaw!
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
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