Has anyone ever told you that you need to start selling your food? If you have and believe what they say, you must have questions. These often include:
Fortunately, you are not alone! Getting started with learning how to get a permit to sell food from home or how to get a food vendor license all start with learning the basics. While each state is different, you are on the right track for finding out exactly what path you need to take as a new entrepreneur.
For the most part, most states will require some kind of license, inspection, permit, and/or training. If you are wondering, “Do you need a license to sell food in Florida?” or another state, all you need to do is check with your public health department. If you may be wondering if you need a permit to sell food on the side of the road, you will need one. Some areas will not even allow you to sell on the side of the road because it is a safety hazard. It’s best to stick to filling out your food permit application and avoiding any fines.
A food vendor license is often required for those who plan on selling food through a farmer’s market or an equivalent. If you don’t want to sell at an event, you may be thinking, “Do I need a license to sell food from my home?” This would typically fall under cottage food laws in your state. Some states, like Michigan, do not require any additional steps or paperwork to get started. On the other hand, you will need to begin the process to apply for cottage food license California if you live in the Golden State.
If you plan on selling food from home or selling homemade food online, you will need to do a bit of research before you get started. Each state and local jurisdiction has its own regulations regarding selling home cooked food to the public. For example, Minnesota allows its citizens to sell food online within the state.
Those wondering, “Can I sell BBQ from my home in Texas?” may be disappointed. Texas and many other states typically limit the type of products that can be sold to potentially non-hazardous foods. This often means you can only sell baked foods, canned jams, pies, granola, roasted coffee, etc. Anything that requires certain handling or temperature to remain safe to eat is usually not permitted.
The answer to how to sell homemade food gets easier each year. Between building a website, advertising on popular social media platforms, and apps dedicated to home chefs, you have plenty of tools at your disposal to get started.
For the most part in many states, almost everything you are thinking of selling from home or online is going to require some form of a permit. However, here are some state specific examples:
It’s important to remember that each state and local jurisdiction is going to have different requirements. Additionally, state and local laws are subject to change at any time. While this post is a wonderful start, speak with your local health department to learn more about the permits and regulations you need to follow. Then, you will be one step closer to running a successful home food business!
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Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.
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