New: States That License Home Kitchens

Business By kelleym Updated 17 Aug 2014 , 1:55pm by craftybanana

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kelleym Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:29pm
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I have NO idea why so many people are having trouble opening the spreadsheet! icon_cry.gif It works for me, and as far as I know, there's nothing special about my computer, icon_wink.gif so I don't know what gives. I'm going to post the info here in text format so we can work around this problem.

Again...please only post here with corrections or new information. Questions about a specific county/state/country should be posted in a new thread where you have the best chance of someone who can help you seeing it. icon_biggrin.gif

Alabama - No
Alaska - No info yet
Arizona - No -
Arkansas - No - 501-661-2171
California - No
Colorado - No -- Separate kitchen required
Connecticut - ?? -
Delaware - No info yet
Florida - No
Georgia - No
Hawaii - No info yet
Idaho - No
Illinois - No
Indiana - No
Iowa - Yes
Kansas - ?? -
Kentucky - ?? -
Louisiana - No
Maine - Yes -
Maryland - No
Massachusetts - Yes
Michigan - No (517) 373-1060
Minnesota - No
Mississippi - No,3432,77,311.html
Missouri - Varies by county
Montana - No info yet
Nebraska - ?? -
Nevada - No
New Hampshire - Yes
New Jersey - No
New Mexico - No
New York - Varies by County
North Carolina - Yes
North Dakota - No
Ohio - Yes
Oklahoma - No
Oregon - Yes -
Pennsylvania - Varies by county -
Rhode Island - No info yet
South Carolina - No
South Dakota - No
Tennessee - Varies by county -
Texas - No
Utah - Yes
Vermont - Yes
Virginia - Yes 804-786-3520
Washington - Varies by County
West Virginia - Varies by County
Wisconsin - No
Wyoming - No

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Tallycake Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:34pm
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In the chart, Florida is listed as a 'no'--but I do have a good friend that has a very successful catering business from her partner's home. She and her best friend started it several years ago. They are licensed and everything.

I think maybe the difference is that the customer never comes to the house. Everything is delivered. I think that is what makes the difference in Florida...that the kitchen has to be a separate from the 'living' area...

I'm going to do some more calling/research and find out.

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maryjsgirl Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 7:50pm
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Originally Posted by jkalman

Both Indy and Wisconsin do not allow home kitchens... sorry the news isn't better.

I never have a problem getting it to open like most people seem to. Just click where it says Download on the right and click open and it pops up every time. Not that I mind looking it up though. icon_smile.gif

I have talked to the Health Department in Indiana and they said that you cannot sell from a home kitchen, but you could covert a garage. It has to be closed off from the home (living space) and have a separate entrance.

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FromScratch Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 12:20am
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The list is not of states that do or don't allow the kitchen to be in your home, just states that do or don't allow you to use your residential kitchen (meaning the same kitchen you cook your family's meals in). Many of the states will allow you to have a separate kitchen in your home, but it has to be completely separate from your "home kitchen" and some states require that is be up to commercial code.

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FromScratch Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 12:22am
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I also think it's a matter of people not having Excel on their computer that won't allow them to open the file. Perhaps it need to be made into a Word document. You can make a table easily and highlight it just like it is now and it will accessible to everyone?

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Yazmin Posted 30 Jan 2009 , 12:50am
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Great informatin, my husband and I were thinking to move to Utah. I could open a home business there.

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ms_gwyn Posted 13 Feb 2009 , 6:15pm
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I know that I can not bake and sell out of my home in CA...but what if I bake out of a commerical/co-op kitchen?

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Ladyfish74 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 3:02pm
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Yes, I agree with JKALMAN, the file is in spreadsheet format. Some of us have a program on our computers that will open a spreadsheet--like Excel for instance. Some of us do not. Many computers come with Excel already on them as the "default" program for opening spreadsheet docs. You may not use it or even know that it is there but, it enables you to open those type documents. There may be another program installed that allows you to open spreadsheets and if it has been set to "default" as part of your computer's programming, it will open the document automatically when you click on the document just like Excel. This is why it "just opens" for some of you and won't open for others. If the doc was in a more universal format like JPG, or a text format that we could open in Adobe Reader, more people would be able to access it. We all have programs installed in our computers that read text and see images otherwise you couldn't read this message or see the pics on this website. So, if you want to post spreadsheets or "Word" docs in a format for everyone, just export them in JPG or Adobe format and everyone will be able to open them. I hope this helps.

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kelleym Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 4:29pm
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It is posted in text everyone can read at the top of this page.

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Ladyfish74 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 10:20pm
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Yes, I see that...the message I posted was not aimed at you personally. I was actually speaking to anyone who wanted to post a spreadsheet document in the future. I didn't mean to offend you.

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Lori17201 Posted 22 Feb 2009 , 7:49pm
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What i have done is tell people I can't legally sell them a cake. I don't charge other then for the ingredients, pans if I don't have them and tell them I will accept donations.

Has anyone run into problems doing that? So far I have only done them for friends, but have 2 people that would like me to make their wedding cakes.

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DNBunny Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 1:37am
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Originally Posted by ms_gwyn

I know that I can not bake and sell out of my home in CA...but what if I bake out of a commerical/co-op kitchen?

Yes ms_gwyn, that is okay. The trick is finding commercial kitchens, which is more difficult than I expected (at least in Los Angeles).

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ms_gwyn Posted 3 Mar 2009 , 5:27am
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Originally Posted by DNBunny

Yes ms_gwyn, that is okay. The trick is finding commercial kitchens, which is more difficult than I expected (at least in Los Angeles).

Thank you!

I have an extenship in a bakery right now and there are co-ops all over LA.

This news makes me less anxious about my business venture!

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KookieKris Posted 9 Mar 2009 , 3:14pm
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I'm from Ohio and I was told by the inspector that when they have "slow" days, they open up the yellow pages and start calling all food businesses that aren't listed in their system. Sometimes they even surprise visit them and close them down! Most of the time they're home based businesses.
I'm sure all they have to do is pay a fine and have the inspector come back out and give them a license so they can continue to bake and sell, I'm just glad I already have mine!
From what I hear, it's pretty hard to not get one. The requirements are minimal for my state.

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Let_them_eat_cake Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 3:42am
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I am so stuck and frustrated! I LOVE decorating cakes but can't seem to find a cost-effective way to do this in New Jersey. I have thought about asking local restaurants if I could rent space a few hours a week in their kitchens but I am so lost and confused about NJ rules. Can anyone help me so I don't have to give up this dream?
Thank you so very much.

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k_anncookies Posted 12 Mar 2009 , 7:45am
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Hawaii is a NO. You can NOT bake out of your home. You have to bake out of a commercial kitchen and your items MUST BE SOLD through a licensed business ie: restaurant, bakery...not out of your home.

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JBCakesCo Posted 13 Mar 2009 , 1:26am
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I am trying to find out more about Louisiana how can I go about that? I went to the health & hospital website but am unable to find more information about home bakeries. I've been doing the cakes from my grandmother's back porch where there is a kitchen setup do any of you know if if Louisiana allows you to do in home bakery if you have a seperate kitchen?

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350BakerStreet Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 5:32am
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Originally Posted by Yazmin

Great informatin, my husband and I were thinking to move to Utah. I could open a home business there.

I live in Utah and it varies by city. Even though you can get past the HD, you may not be able to get a home-occupation license from the city. As far as I know, Salt Lake, Sandy and now Payson are the only cities that allow it. Others are supposed to be added soon.

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Alaskahsm Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 5:29pm
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Okay I just called the Alaska Dept of Health. You may sell out of your home if you have a separate kitchen set up, that is closed off to your family and separate entrance. However they have no regulations and you do not need to be permitted to sell at craft fairs and farmers markets. Also for a bakery you may use any commercial kitchen i.e. church or rec kitchens. Is it clear what I am saying?

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dulceleche Posted 26 Mar 2009 , 1:34pm
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I am trying to find more info on Virginia, the dept of Agr. webpage is not very friendly. Anyone knows how to get a permit or if you'll get in trouble for baking a few cakes at home?

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KawaiiCakeCook Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 5:22pm
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KawaiiCakeCook Posted 13 Apr 2009 , 5:23pm
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Umm...anyone know anything about New Mexico? I realize that it is reported to be a no, but is it like other states where if you have a separate kitchen you can work from home?

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CourtneysCustomCakes Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 6:49pm
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I didn't read all the way through the Idaho site. But I have spoke to the Health Department in my county, and it is ok. We of course have to do all the tax stuff if we are selling. And it is reccommended to take a health class through the health department, and we can pay a fee to have them come out and inspect the kitchen. But that is all optional. According to the Health Department they don't consider Cake Decorating hazardous. Apparently they don't think we can hurt anyone with a cake.

How ever I do know that it varies by county. Because My MIL's Health Dept say no.

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KawaiiCakeCook Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 11:30pm
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okay, I did a little research of my own. The laws of New Mexico are that you can have a home business depending on your county. Just call the local city hall and ask.

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Lori00 Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 5:23am
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Connecticut only allows it if you have a separate kitchen and some towns require you not only to have a separate kitchen but a three bay sink..all commercial appliances including a commercial dishwasher. I thought that was the most ridiculous thing i ever heard of. You need to take out a second mortgage on your home to have a second kitchen built. Some towns don't require commercial equipment or stainless steel just a seperate kitchen. I am working on getting that law changed so that those of us who love to bake can do so out of our homes. NC has a great model I'd like to use. At least in Charlotte. I think it is unfair when there are restaurants whose kitchens are worse than any home kitchen. There are about over 200 people in CT who bake out of there homes with no permit and have been doing it for years. They just can't advertise and have to rely on word of mouth. I am also looking into raising money for a community kitchen.

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annieos Posted 22 Apr 2009 , 6:31pm
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Kansas regulations are a bit tricky. I say this because eventhough the Kansas Food Code says that you have to have a completely separate kitchen in your home that you make food out of for the consumer, the state isn't going to bug you unless they have a complaint about you.

I was having some weird responses from customers last year when I would tell them that I was an "in home" business. Well, here is a letter I wrote to the Kansas head of the food safety division... the ones who enforce all the regulations. This is a copy of my email to him on Sunday, November 16, 2008 and his response....

Hello Mr. Moris,

Thank you for taking my email. I have an in-home bakery in Overland Park Kansas, and make special occasion cakes for the "end consumer". I have a separate, full kitchen in my home, free of children and any animals, use cake mixes and non-perishable cake fillings, sell directly to the consumer, and I adhere to Health Department guidelines for sanitation and cleanliness. But, I am not licensed because I was told by someone at the Dept. of Ag.(I'm sorry I don't remember his name...but it was a phone conversation in the early part of September of 2007) that I fall under the "Farmer's Market Clause". Because of this, he said, I don't need a health license. You can imagine how happy I was to hear that!

In the last 6 months, though, I have had a few customers call me about potentially making a cake for them. But, after I tell them that I am an in-home bakery, they asked me, "Do you know that in-home bakeries are illegal in Kansas?"

The first time I was asked that, I politely answered them that I fell under the "Farmer's Market Clause" and reassured them that in-home bakeries ARE LEGAL in Kansas. After the second person told me similar information, I had asked them where they had gotten that information at. Them told me that a cake maker in Leawood had told them that info. She also has stated the "illegality" of in-home bakeries on her website.

Please, don't take me wrong. I don't know who this baker is; I have no quarrels with her. My concern is, ...are in-home bakeries REALLY illegal in Kansas like she says? Was the info I was given last year incorrect? Is it true that "anybody who makes and sells any kind of food for the public" has to be inspected and licensed? I want to make sure that everything I make and sell is legal. I have a real talent and a deep love for what I do, and I intend to grow my business in the future.

If what I was told by the Dept. of Ag. last year was true, could you please send me that "Farmer's Market Clause" by email, if possible? If what I was told was incorrect, could you please point me in the direction of what I should do and who I should talk to to get inspected and licensed.

Thank you so much for your time and attention on this matter.
I hope you have a wonderful week!



I just looked at your website, and I agree, you have a great talent. You probably talked to me last year, and that information is still correct. If you sell non-potentially hazardous baked goods directly to the end consumer, you are not required to have a license. The Kansas Dept. Of Agriculture will still expect you to follow guidelines set by the Kansas Food Code, and for your information, even though you are not required to have a license, if we receive a complaint, we have the authority to inspect any facility that produces or sells food in the state of Kansas. I will attach a handout that we have on our website that explains what can be sold at farmers market without a license.

Steve Moris

Program Manager

Division of Food Safety and Lodging

Kansas Dept. Of Agriculture

Well! That just shored up my confidence! I now knew that what the other baker was saying was wrong.... Needless to say, "the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing". I found out the hard way(some of you guys' worst business nightmare) that Overland Park is the ONLY city in the whole dern state that requires EVERY food business to be health licensed and inspected. Yep, that same baker called the city health inspectors on me and they came to pay me a little visit. She even called the state and told them that I was selling cheesecakes(which I wasn't) so that they would come out, too. A few weeks later, she called the city again and told them about other in-home bakers in OP that weren't licensed....she doesn't play nicely with others in the sandbox, ya know what I'm sayin'? thumbsdown.gif

The city was very nice to deal with, though. I just had to make a few adjustments, put in a bit more lighting, and pay the $100 annual licensing fee. They realized, after the second phone call to the city, that this baker was just trying to get rid of her competition. They also realized that the other in-home bakers were going off of info that was given to them from the State, and they all though that they were legal, too. The city probibly figured that this was all a huge can of worms that was being opened and that they would be wasting their time and resources chasing it all down, they dropped it.

The state was even better to deal with. They came out, I showed them the email from Mr. Moris and assured them that I do not sell perishable items. The inspector said, "Yeah, Steve's my boss. If he says you're good then we have no problem with you."

So, a few lessons for all to be learned here.

1. In Kansas, you're fine if you sell non-perishable goods from your home directly to your clients. thumbs_up.gif

2. If there is a complaint, they have the right to come out and inspect and require you to bring it up to code, BUT you still DO NOT have to get licensed. icon_wink.gif

3. Overland Park... is a whole 'nother story. icon_rolleyes.gif

4. If you're thinking of throwing your competition under the bus just to get rid of them....don't do it! Remember the old saying, "What you put into the lives of others will come back to you." icon_smile.gif

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bakermommy4 Posted 30 Apr 2009 , 5:43am
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The list says that Nevada is a no...that's not accurate. I just got my license and its about whether you are in the city or county limits. And you don't receive just the business license, you have to also apply for a home occupational permit too.

Just an update

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Angela93 Posted 11 May 2009 , 7:23pm
post #58 of 437

I'm in Phoenix, AZ and it was a no on the chart.... So does that mean I can get in trouble for selling cakes? I only plan to sell to family, friends, and friends of friends. Is that bad? And is there anyone in my area that can help me out with pricing? So far I've only done freebees. I'm charging for a 12x18 cake this weekend but aparently I'm waaaay under. $40! I was put on the spot and had no time to really think about it so thats what I came up with. If anyone can share their prices just to give me an idea, that would be awsome!!! thanksicon_smile.gif

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blondeez Posted 11 May 2009 , 7:41pm
post #59 of 437

Im in Louisiana and the only way you can do cakes from your home is if you have a seperate kitchen detached from your home. Such a bummer

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JPsCakes08 Posted 13 May 2009 , 7:45pm
post #60 of 437

Anyone here from Ontario, Canada? I am pretty sure you don't need a license to operate a cake business from your home kitchen....

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