Sunday, February 05, 2012

Cottage Food Law

I wanted to share some research I've been doing regarding the cottage food laws that provide some possibilities to prepare certains types of food products from a homebased kitchen. Not all states offer this possibility, but certain states do. Here's a list. Farmer's Market Coalition has a nice article that offers sources for further research as well.

It's important to understand that all states are different and what's allowed in Illinois might not be allowed in Florida, for example. While jams and jellies are allowed in many states, canning pickles from home is rarely allowed. As with any regulation, they are subject to change. If you decide to pursue this, it's important to stay current with changes to the rules that affect homebased operators. This might be a viable avenue for homebased production of bbq spice rubs and seasonings as long as labeling requirements are followed carefully.

As with any other business endeavor there are certain rules and regulations that govern the industry. These rules and regulations are set by the individuals states and cover the types of items that can be sold, where vendors can sell, how products must be packaged and labeled and much more. There are currently 31 states that allow citizens to bake from home for profit in some form.
Most of the states have a cap on how much revenue you can earn from a homebased food business. In my state, Michigan, it's $15,000. In other states it's $25,000, or somewhere in between.

Many local Michigan micropreneurs have used the cottage food law to launch their business with low costs and then once established transitioned to a larger commercial operation once the $15,000 cap is reached. Here's an article about a cupcake baker.

The farmer's market near my home is packed with small farmers and urban gardeners taking advantage of these new regulations to launch their own small businesses. Here's a link to the specific rules in Michigan.

I applaud the states who have crafted regulations to losen the reins on some of the food safety regulations. I've read many other accounts online where the unemployed and under-employed have launched small businesses to help them overcome their current financial struggles.


Steve @ the black peppercorn said...

I have been researching this stuff as well. I live in Canada and there seems to be a lot of restrictions and regulations that make it challenging for people starting out

Chris said...

I didn't realize there were such exceptions. Good to know.

Rick Rutdger said...

Brand new old style BBQ Restaraunt I just found in Nashville TN. I was amazed, they stuff a baked potatoe with bbq pork and all the fixins, best meal of my life without a doubt!

Mamie's Toffee & Treats said...

Mamie's Toffee & Treats. I'm co-owner of this company. I lost my job two years ago. With the new act our local health department says we qualify and others say we don't. I'm confused! I say we don't qualify either, but I let the "experts tell me"..... Well here we are low risk candy makers and we are jumping hoops. Who can help us?