Originally Posted by ibeeflower
Kara or Jason:
If your state has a cottage food law, do you still need a business license? Or does it depend on the state? I am under Texas CFL but in what I have read I haven't seen a requirement for a business license but maybe I'm just not looking in the right place. I am not selling right now.
In Virginia they didn't have the cottage food law until a couple of years ago, but before that you could operate from a home kitchen as long as you were only doing cakes and no catering. If you were doing any kind of catering you had to have a separate commercial kitchen. I got licensed and inspected under the old laws, so when they added the option of the cottage food law I didn't want to give that up. They still give you the option of having a health inspection every year, so the inspector comes to my house and pokes around.
Personally, I think it's valuable to have an inspection for a few reasons. When the inspector comes out I spend a good amount of time talking to him about any changes in the laws since I last talked to him, and you can learn a lot about what's up from them. It's also a good selling point for your clients, because having an inspection certificate is a good thing in most people's eyes. If you have the option to do either cottage food or have an inspection I'd do the inspection route any time. I was lucky that Virginia gave me the option to begin with.