Ohio At Home Bakers I Need Help (Long)

Business By Ashlynn Updated 3 Feb 2010 , 6:41pm by CookieMakinMomma

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Ashlynn Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 5:36pm
post #1 of 23

I've been doing research and I cant seem to understand the dern laws completely. After reading the Ohio Cottage Laws (if I understand it correctly) I can have a business from home without a license and without being inspected from the ohio department of agric. What I'm not sure about is, would I still have to be inspected by the health dept? We have indoor pets? I read through the entire website and didn't understand it.

My other question is, if I wanted to find a space to rent how do I go about doing that and how much are they typically?

Thank you so much in advance. I feel like I have so many questions. I'm just glad I have some place to ask them!

22 replies
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tbittner Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 23

As long as you are not selling a perishable food (cheesecake, ref. fillings, ect...) you do not need to be inspected. That is only if you want to be licensed. If you want to be licensed you can not have any carpet in the kitchen or indoor pets as well as a couple of other minor things.
You must label everyting correctly as outlined on the Dept. of Health web site though.
I would also suggest checking out your local laws on the matter, some very by city/county.
I would suggest local churches if you are interested in renting a kitchen.
Where in Ohio are you located?
Good luck!

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Ashlynn Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 5:53pm
post #3 of 23

Im in Lebanon, trying to figure this all out! Thank you for your help. I never thought of the Church. My moms Church has a School house that they rebuilt on the inside that has an AMAZING kitchen! Could I get licensed if I bake from there?

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tbittner Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 5:59pm
post #4 of 23

The church will already be licensed, you do not need to then. We are very lucky in Ohio to be able to sell non-perishables from our homes, many states do not allow it at all. I would suggest starting as a cottage industry from home and as business picks up then look into getting your home licensed if you want to. As I said we really don't need to rent unless you need the space or plan on doing the perishables.
Just be sure you label everything properly.


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Lyns082608 Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 6:07pm
post #5 of 23

Not from Ohio (I'm from Indiana) but I'm also trying to figure out cottage laws and such, and I have a question...so you can set up a cottage industry from home but not have to be licensed? What would licensing give you that you would need? I understand it might be different here but I'm just curious. Thanks icon_smile.gif

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tbittner Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 6:12pm
post #6 of 23

In Ohio you do not need to be licensed but you do need to identify yourself as a Cottage Law Industry. Really the only difference is in selling perishable foods and in having the health dept. check out your home kitchen to be sure of no carpet or pets and having the paper that states you are licensed. Be sure to really check out the different laws in your particular counry and city though.

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Lyns082608 Posted 3 Jan 2010 , 6:15pm
post #7 of 23

tbittner, thank you!!

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Ashlynn Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 4:34am
post #8 of 23

Does that mean under the cottage law I could sell cakes from home even though we have indoor pets? and advertise? (as in giving out business cards with cakes ) Also, Cakes, cookies and cupcakes are considered nonperishables? Im sorry for all the questions I just want to make sure I do this right.

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tbittner Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 2:17pm
post #9 of 23
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cai0311 Posted 4 Jan 2010 , 6:29pm
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As others have said, in the state of Ohio you do not need to be licensed as long as nothing you sell has to be refrigerated. To be licensed you cant have any pets, carpet in the kitchen, if you have well water it must be tested every 12 months and a thermometer in the refrigerator. You can sell, advertise...do whatever to promote your businessas long as nothing you sell has to be refrigerated.

Whether you decide to get licensed or not, you must put a label listing every ingredient on everything that leaves your house. The label needs to also have weight in pounds and grams, name of company, address, phone number and HOME MADE on it. I have a note that says items may have trace amounts of nuts, oil to cover myself with allergies.

If you can get licensed, I say do it. I got licensed last year (2009) just to be able to tell clients I am. In my opinion it gives me an edge. If I was going to by something that I was going to feed to people, I would like to know that the house it was made in was inspected. Especially if the license is optional, because I know that person goes above and beyond.

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hammer1 Posted 6 Jan 2010 , 11:42pm
post #11 of 23

with this cottage industry, did you still purchase a vendors liscense and insurance and do you report your sales for tax purposes?

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flamingobaker Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 12:03am
post #12 of 23

I operate under Cottage Laws. I have business insurance, about $200 per year. I don't have a vendor's license, I don't think my volume warrants it.
My business is set up simply so that I claim profit on my regular income tax form. We use Turbo Tax and you just plug in what they ask for even for the business.

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cheatize Posted 7 Jan 2010 , 4:04am
post #13 of 23

Any clues how it works if I license my sister's kitchen but use my home as the business office? I've been trying to get my brain to walk through this for a couple of weeks, but it's not interested in taking the journey right now. icon_smile.gif

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donnalane Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 6:56am
post #14 of 23

Regarding the Cottage Food Laws in Ohio I had some of the same questions so I emailed them back when I first got started and thought I would share the email conversation so that you could read it yourself and hopefully get some clarification on how it works!!
I hope this helps all of you in Ohio


Donna, You are most welcome!


From: Donna Lane
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 1:21 PM
To: FoodSafety
Subject: Re: Cottage Food Production

Thanks so much chuck, that is great. I do not do anything that would
require refrigeration, just regular cakes and cookies. I do appreciate your
help, and quick response. Have a wonderful day.

----- Original Message -----
From: FoodSafety
To: 'Donna Lane'
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 1:09 PM
Subject: RE: Cottage Food Production

Dear Donna: You are permitted to bake non-potentially hazardous baked goods in your home and sell them anywhere in Ohio as long as they are properly labeled. Non-potentially hazardous baked goods include baked goods that do not require refrigeration to keep them from spoiling such as cheese cakes and cream pies. Regular cakes and cookies do fall under Cottage Foods.

Chuck Kirchner

From: Donna Lane
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 11:47 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: Cottage Food Production


I had a question about Cottage Food Production in the home
I live in Cols. Ohio, I bake cookies and cakes for family
and friends and would like to take it a step further and sell these
within the Columbus area, and wanted to make sure
that the Cottage Food Rule applied to me and make sure that
I understand it correctly. I would like to bake these cakes and
cookies from my home and sell them locally. Do I fall into line
with this particular rule for baking from home as long as I do
the proper labeling and indicate that the cake or cookies are
Home Produced by labeling.

Thanks so much for your help


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MichelleM77 Posted 22 Jan 2010 , 9:27pm
post #15 of 23

Even if the state allows it, unfortunately it comes down to your city/town to make the final decision. Yes, you should clear it with your county health department and then after their blessing get your city's permission as you may be dealing with zoning laws. My county health department was great, said as long as I follow the state's laws they are fine with it. Most likely your county and city will be fine as well, but it's the zoning laws that can get you in trouble.

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karateka Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 2:11am
post #16 of 23

I'm going to chime in about the vendor's license. You do need one if you are going to charge for delivery, because you have to collect sales tax on delivery. They aren't expensive, about $25, and you can pay the sales tax online at the ohio business gateway. Very simple to do, but required!

I do find it funny (not in a humorous way) that it cost me $25 to be able to pay less than $3 in sales tax so far. icon_confused.gif

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CookieMakinMomma Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 5:38pm
post #17 of 23

Ok, so if I am in Ohio shipping food to who knows where, I charge taxes on shipping costs only. This much I know. From what I can tell that would mean a 'delivery vendor' license, correct?

(here's a listing of vendors licenses I found: http://tax.ohio.gov/divisions/sales_and_use/license.stm)

Now, from what I can tell this license doesn't cover items sold from my place of business, just stuff that is shipped. If customers pick up and pay for the non-taxable food items from my house do I need a second vendors license to cover this, despite the fact that all sales from my home are completely tax-free?

AND, if I decide to sell the same goods at the local flea market would I then be required to get a 'transient vendor' license?

I know, I'm probably making this more complicated than it is, but with government and tax stuff I'd rather ask too many than not enough questions!

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MichelleM77 Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 8:30pm
post #18 of 23

I believe that shipping and delivery are two different things. I don't think you can charge tax on shipping charges, just delivery.

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CookieMakinMomma Posted 31 Jan 2010 , 9:21pm
post #19 of 23

Actually, according to the same site shipping and delivery are basically the same thing when it comes to taxes.

25. Are delivery costs taxable?

Yes. Effective Aug. 1, 2003 delivery charges by a vendor for preparation and delivery to a location designated by the consumer of tangible personal property or a service, including transportation, shipping, postage, handling, crating, and packing are taxable.

-Apparently, even the postage you paid directly to the govt gets taxed and goes right to the... govt. Brilliant! icon_rolleyes.gif

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MichelleM77 Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 6:23pm
post #20 of 23

Oh, gotcha. Thanks for the link!

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EvMarie Posted 1 Feb 2010 , 10:42pm
post #21 of 23

Hi Everyone

I like this site: http://www.development.ohio.gov/edd/1ststop/onestop/index.cfm

It takes you through the steps to make your own information kit. It's sort of an umbrella of info. There are several forms to download. Each one pertains to a different area. Where you need to consult a local agency, it will say in the explanation.

I made myself a spreadsheet, of questions and agencies. As I answered the questions, I color coded them. Also, made a spot for notes and actions to take. I'm now wanting to set myself up online only and want to sell all over...not just Ohio. So, I need a commercial kitchen.

But, this is where I started my journey: Ohio.gov - it's called 1st stop business connection, in case the link above doesn't work.

Hope that helps!

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CookieMakinMomma Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 12:48am
post #22 of 23

Thank you for the link! I had been to that site a while ago, but that was before I was considering online orders. I'm heading straight over to check it out again!

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CookieMakinMomma Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 6:41pm
post #23 of 23

Hm, well no luck there. That site does have a lot of great info in a handy condensed format, but it didn't cover what I'm looking for. It looks like I will have to start calling government offices to get this mess sorted out. Oh goody. Thank you everyone for the help! icon_smile.gif

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