Hi Pebbles, I was really replying in general. In your post you mentioned other bakers crossing lines. I was just making a general statement. Sometimes after I read all the posts, I answer the question based on all of the posts.
For example, in one county where I do business, I have to purchase a state license, but that county has a city that requires a city license in addition to the regular business license. Every person doing business in the city limits must obtain a $30.00 license, but because the city has B&O taxes, a small percentage of this sale must be paid to the city. Many businesses in these cities try to locate just outside the city limits. Because we deliver, delivering within these limits requires a license.
When you are licensed by a particular health dept, you comply with their laws. But it doesn't give you carte blanche to go anywhere you want. When you deliver to another county or state, you are doing business in that county. Their HD has a right to approve or disapprove any food sale in their jurisdiction. In my three counties, the codes are all similar and close to FDA regulations, so because of this, other HD's have not inspected my bakery and probably never will. But they will stop people from coming into the county that do not meet these high standards.
I think because I worked so long with businesses of all types in my marketing company, I am more aware of licensing. These businesses were in the different counties, states and cities. B&O is a big headache in that one city.
If you get a contractors' license, it is a state license. You can work in the entire state and in every county. If you cross state lines, you have to comply with their licensing laws. I have a WV contractor's license. But I also worked in VA. The first thing I did was call VA to get the right information. VA accepted the WV license as long as I was working under a VA licensed contractor. Since I was a sub, it worked. But I had to submit my license, WC policy and my liability policy while I was working in that state. I also had a max amount of money I could accept per job without getting the VA license. But in food service, you are granted only a local license by your county, not the state. Notice how chain pizza delivery doesn't usually cross county or state lines?
The FDA comes in if you do not fall into the Fair Trade Between States Act. Let's say you have a county license in your state. And you have also complied with your neighboring HD's and do business there too. Now you want to ship across state lines. It is just like DOT rules or anything that crosses state lines. There must be a standard that every municipality can accept. The FDA, with strict requirements, is accepted by all HD's in the US. I am always rebutted on this but think about it. You would need federal guidelines for food safety just like my husband must comply with federal guidelines for DOT physicals. He is subject to FDA inspections and his office must meet all federal guidelines to do these exams. That federal DOT driver's license is acceptable in all states. You only need a state commercial license to stay witin the state.
Cities have always had trouble with county based businesses doing business within the city limits. This would include plumbers, people who mow lawns, caterers, mobile auto dent removal companies, etc. They can get away with not paying. In areas with the extra license or B&O, businesses do everything they can to be outside the line. And there are lines. There are lines between counties and a line inside counties that designate city limits. If you don't know them, police, post offices and the city itself can show you the lines.
Pebbles, I doubt this is a new law. My guess is that the license was needed all along and the city is enforcing it by requiring the license from the venue. And it may be a case where the city does have B&O tax, or they are just trying to collect their $30.00 a year from the businesses doing business within their limits.
As for these laws making sense or seeming rediculous, they have been there all along and are a source of revenue for the city or county. These licenses are also trackers for sales tax and state income tax.
If you call an HD in a neighboring county or just over the state line, if the codes are close, chances are they will waive any inspections. But if you are in a state with CFL neighboring a state with strict codes, they may not want you to do business in their state. Again, I fall within the FTBS Act, but I still had to comply with all MD codes which are higher than WV. The buildout was the same, but labeling and some storage issues were different. FTBS Act only allows you to do business just over a state line without having to go through a full FDA licensed kitchen.
I hope this helps. You just need to know the law for every district where you do business, no matter what business you are in. You either have a city, county, state or federal license. That denotes your boundary. For example, I have a bride who wants a delivery 60 miles outside the county where I do business in MD. Before I take this job, I will call the county HD and ask permission to do business there. I'm sure they will ok it if I have proper licensing and the tax account. The county clerk in charge of licenses at the city hall will probably ok the transaction because again, I have a MD sales tax license and it is probably a one time deal. But I'm not going up there without checking.