Florida Cottage Food Law

Getting started in Florida as a cottage food producer requires all products to be made in your primary residence and all sales must be direct to your customers. There are few limitations on what you can make and sell, and where you can sell your homemade food. Ready to take your cottage food business online? We’ll help you build an online store in minutes.
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Where can you sell?

In Florida, you can sell cottage foods at fairs, festivals, farmers markets, home, online, and roadside stands.

What kinds of food can you sell?

Florida allows the sale of bread, candies, condiments, dry goods, extracts, pastries, preserves, and snacks.

What should be on my product labels?

Labels must include allergens, business address, business name, ingredients, net amount, product name, and a note that your product was made in an uninspected kitchen.

Is there an income cap?

A home-based vendor can sell $250,000 per year in Florida.

Are there any special requirements?

In Florida, the use of commercial equipment and kitchens is prohibited, and all cottage foods must be made at your primary residence. All sales of your product must be direct to the customer.

Where can I find more information?

Contact the Division of Food Safety at 850-245-5520 or FoodInspection@FDACS.gov. Learn more about Florida's cottage food laws here.

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*Cottage food laws change regularly — always double check the requirements for running a home-based food business with a legal expert or your local health department.

Cottage Food Laws Florida

The year 2020 brought about a lot of changes, initiating many people to try new things and start new business ventures — including the starting of home-based businesses. That year initiated a surge of new Florida cottage food business owners that continues on today. This is thanks undoubtedly to the great flexibility making and selling best selling cottage foods from home; the ability to make money independently of others. However, as independent as the cottage food operation is from traditional bosses, it is not independent of the law. Every new cottage food business owner must know the basics of Florida cottage food law before they get started to prevent being fined or even shut down.

The good news is that while there are some very important cottage food laws Florida all entrepreneurs must follow, this state is fairly lax overall. Florida cottage food law 2020 and Florida cottage food law 2021 has been most impacted by changes made back in 2017. That year, thanks to support from the Institute for Justice, Florida legislatures reversed a once much bemoaned statewide ban on Internet sales of Florida. They also added an amendment that tripled the revenue caps made by previous cottage food laws Florida. Now, food producers can sell homemade baked goods from their own kitchen for a gross revenue of $50,000. That's a solid annual income for those who don't want or can't invest in commercial income and has certainly enabled many entrepreneurs to enjoy a successful cottage food operation.

In addition to this main Florida cottage food law, there are other stipulations that cottage food operators must follow. First, there are specific foods that are allowed without restrictions, ones that have restrictions (such as requiring special cottage food law labels Florida), and ones that are outright prohibited. There are also local ordinances that will supersede state laws. The following is a more in-depth look at the important things to know about cottage food laws Florida.

Cottage food operation is regulated by cottage food laws. These laws control and monitor what and how people can prepare, bake, or cook food legally in their own kitchen. These regulations also control the sale of this food to the public. The cottage food law Florida was enacted in 2011. Florida has made significant improvements to the law over time, with amendments in 2017 and 2021. The cottage food law in Florida has always been flexible, encouraging many Florida residents to make food in their homes to sell.

Prior to 2021, Florida residents making cottage foods were only allowed to earn $50,000 per year. Prior to 2021, cottage food businesses were not allowed to sell their food online. They could only sell it out of their home, at farmers' markets, or at other events. They could even sell their food at a roadside stand. Still, today a cottage food business is not allowed to have indirect sales. This means they cannot sell their food to restaurants or stores. There are some specific requirements a cottage food business must follow. These include specifications about labeling the food and any required licensing. It is important to note that you cannot sell your cottage food with non-cottage food, even if you have a permit to sell the non-cottage food. In some areas, there could be a local ordinance that supersedes the state law.

If you plan to start a cottage food business, you must understand the basics of the Florida law around cottage food, including knowing what are cottage foods; otherwise, you may risk being fined or having your business shut down. This also includes understanding if there are any local laws around cottage food sales.

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Food Permit Florida

Cottage food businesses are the only type of food operations that do not need permits Florida. At least, they do not need to do a Florida food permit lookup so long as they follow certain stipulations. To understand those food permit Florida stipulations, it helps to first understand the definition of what is and isn't considered by the state of Florida a "cottage food product".

According to the state of Florida, a cottage food product is a final food product that does not require time or temperature controls in order to safely limit toxins or pathogenic microcosm growth. In other words, it cannot be a type of food that must be stored in a fridge or freezer or must be safely put into water within short period to limit health risks. This means that animal meat, raw seed sprouts, cut melons, cut leafy greens, and similar items are not considered cottage foods and thus would not fall under the no food permit or no food permit renewal list. These food items that have a safety risk are ones for which the answer to do you need a license to sell food in Florida is yes.

Additionally, whether or not you need some type of public food service license Florida will depend upon how or where you choose to sell foods. Cottage foods must be sold directly to the consumer and sold to be taken off-site. If you sell food that is designed to be consumed on-site, then you will need to apply for some type of food vendor license Florida. For example, if you sell baked desserts to be eaten in a cafe, then you will need a Florida bakery license. If you want to sell baked desserts to be sold to a restaurant, then you will need a wholesale food license Florida.

Cottage Food Law Florida Sales Tax

Florida is one of just nine states that does not have a state income tax. But while the state isn't collecting any money from your paycheck, it is doing so elsewhere. The Florida sales tax is one such tax collection method the state uses. Here, every item purchased comes with a percentage tax that is collected by the vendor and sent onto the state. Yet, even here, Florida again offers a big boon to its residents as it does not collect sales taxes on any type of groceries. So, as long as the type of cottage food you produce can be construed as a type of grocery item, you too will fall into the no need for a cottage food law Florida sales tax category.

But while most cottage food operations won't have to pay any sales tax according to Florida cottage food law taxes, there are some outlying situations where this isn't true. If you sell prepared food designed to be consumed on-site, then you will need to collect sales tax as part of your Florida cottage food law taxes.

So for better illustration:

  • If you sell tomatoes and homemade pasta directly to consumers for them to make their own pasta at home: No, you will not have to collect any type of Florida cottage food sales tax.
  • If you take your homemade tomato sauce and combine it with your homemade pasta and sell it to be sold at your inn or other approved and licensed venue: Yes, you will need to collect a Florida sales tax.

Selling Food From Home In Florida

Eager to start selling food from home in Florida? Before you do, there are some other important things to know about cottage food in Florida and some other things to know about understanding if you need a permit to sell food from home in Florida:

  • No dairy-based items. In the Florida cottage food law buttercream, butter, cream cheese, and other dairy-based items are not allowed. These are all temperature-sensitive processed foods that are not on the approved Florida cottage food list and will need special licensing and registration.
  • Nut butter is allowed. Ground nuts and products made from ground nuts are not time or temperatures sensitive and thus are approved on the list of cottage foods. That said, butter made from vegetables, such as pumpkin butter, are not allowed. Not sure if your butter-type product is allowed? Check the official cottage food list Florida at the state website.
  • No salsas, barbecue sauces, and other "wet" products. Unfortunately, under Florida cottage food law hot sauce is disallowed because it is seen as a "wet" product. If you want to start selling hot sauce in Florida, then you will need to go through a more involved registration process as these types of processed foods must meet unique federal and state requirements.
  • Pet foods are not cottage foods. While some pet foods and treats could be eaten by humans, that does not mean they are cottage foods. All pet foods fall under their own type of labeling and restrictions. Additionally, pet foods sold in the state of Florida must have a sales tax attached.
  • Hemp extracts and products are not cottage food. Any food or product containing CBD, THC, or any other type of hemp plant compound is not covered by Florida's cottage food laws.

Cottage Food Law Miami-Dade County

Florida state cottage laws are great for allowing the entrepreneur to get started thanks to their minimal restrictions. However, before you start selling food from your home, it is important to look at the unique laws of your county. Every county will have its own set of stipulations, especially those in more urban areas. The following is a look at some of the biggest counties and the key cottage food laws residents there should know:

  • The cottage food law Miami-Dade county puts special limits on what part of the home can be used. Here, only the kitchen area can be used for making and producing goods and that kitchen area must only account for 25% of the total space of the home. Sellers will also have to apply for a certificate of use and may need to undergo a permitting process.
  • According to the Orange County Florida food law, all cottage food producers and sellers will need to secure a Business Tax Receipt. Also, like Miami-Dade, there are limitations on what part of the home and how much of the home can be used for food production and storage. Orange County is the county that consists of Orlando, Apopka, and Lake Buena Vista.
  • Under Broward County cottage food law, all businesses need to get some type of business license. Those operating under a trade name other than a full legal name will need an assumed business name certificate while others can get a standard name certificate with an EIN. Additionally, those individuals and cottage food businesses who are selling or buying wholesale or retail will need to get a reseller or seller's license.

Another important thing to consider is that while most Florida counties won't require a kitchen inspection before operation, that doesn't mean your kitchen won't ever be inspected. According to Florida law, all cottage food businesses by act of selling food open themselves up to post-complaint inspection. This means that if anyone complains about your food products or how you are operating your cottage food business, you risk inspection. These inspections are done by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Failure to allow them to do that inspection can result in fines and even the closure of your business.

Remember to always check your own local county's add-on laws via that county's government website before you start selling your own cottage food products either online or in-person.

Cottage Food Law Florida 2021

There were some significant changes to the cottage food laws in Florida in 2020. There were no major changes to the cottage food laws Florida 2020. However, there were some changes enacted in 2017. Prior to 2017, the cottage food law in Florida had a gross sales limit of $15,000 annually. In 2017, it was increased to $50,000. In addition, in 2017, cottage food operators were allowed to sell and accept payment for their cottage food online, as long as the food was delivered to the customer in person.

The cottage food laws Florida 2021 are called the Home Sweet Home Act. The most significant update to the Florida cottage food law was an increase in gross sales from $50,000 to $250,000 per year. This is a substantial jump in allowable income from the sale of cottage food. Another significant change is that the Home Sweet Home Act placed cottage food regulation under the state government. This means it prohibits local government from prohibiting or regulating cottage food production.

Cottage food business owners are exempt from specific building permits and food permit requirements. Food operations that do not need permits Florida are cottage food preparation. This is the only type of food operation that does not require a permit. This law change allows cottage food owners to sell their food online, at venues, by mail, or by in-person delivery. However, it still prohibits wholesale operations.

One item that did not change is the Florida cottage food law buttercream, cream cheese, and butter icing regulations. These food are prohibited as a cottage food and not allowed to be produced. In addition, they need refrigeration because of their water content and therefore are not allowable as a cottage food.

Cottage Food Law Florida 2022

There are some changes coming to the Florida cottage food law, effective July 2022. The cottage food laws Florida 2022 tightens up on some of the regulations for cottage food operators. Until now, Florida has been fairly relaxed about selling food from home in Florida. One of the major changes to the Florida cottage law is to include the term home kitchen operator. Those who consider themselves a home kitchen operators are afforded the same rights as cottage food operations Florida. In addition, in 2022, home kitchen operators will be able to cook, prepare, and deliver entire meals. The changes to the law allow food operators to sell food by phone, email, website, or mobile applications. The food can be delivered to customers by an employee or a third party delivery service.

The Florida cottage food law 2022 expands on the Home Sweet Home Act Florida. It allows the state to control the regulation of home kitchens. This law authorizes the Department of Agriculture to conduct inspections, investigate complaints, and impose disciplinary action. They are also allowed to inspect the kitchen and home without a complaint being filed. There is a limit on fining. A fine cannot be more than $5,000 per violation.

This law does put some restrictions in place. Some of the restrictions are that there is a limit of prepping and serving ten individual meals each day. The food must be prepped, cooked, and served on the same day. As far as Florida cottage food law shipping, the food must be delivered. It cannot be shipped. The law further explains the labeling requirements for the food sold. It also requires all home kitchen operators and their employees have completed a food safety education certificate program.

When it comes to Florida cottage food law taxes, a home based business is subject to all appropriate business taxes in the county in which the business is located. With the 2022 changes, cottage food operators still do not need a permit to sell food from home Florida. It remains the only food operation that do not need permits Florida. There was no change to the regulation around sales tax. The cottage food law Florida sales tax rule states that food products are exempt from sales tax. This is true for all cottage food operators that do not have facilities where their customers can eat on site. As long as the food is take and go, there is no applicable sales tax.

Cottage Food List Florida

When you want to get started selling corsage food, it is critical that you understand the difference in cottage food laws by state. These laws provide a list of cottage foods that are allowed to be produced and sold. It would be best if you did not try to figure out how to get around cottage food laws. Instead, you want to learn the rules and abide by them. So, before you get started, review this cottage food list Florida to determine what you are allowed to sell.

You cannot sell any dairy based items. This includes butter, cream cheese, buttercream, and other food items that are dairy-based. Any food that is sensitive to temperature and must be kept cold is not approved as a cottage food for Florida and require special licensing. When thinking about the best selling cottage foods, consider nut butter. You can sell this item in Florida. This includes ground nuts and other products that are made from ground nuts and are not temperature or time sensitive. If the butter is made from a vegetable, it is not allowed to be sold.

Foods that are considered wet products are not allowed. This includes items such as barbecue sauce, hot sauce, and salsa. In addition, pet food, hemp extract, and hemp products are also not allowable under cottage food.

Items that are allowed include:

When you are looking for cottage food approved recipes, be sure to include the items on the approved list. You do not want to try to get around the regulations and try to sell items that are on the prohibited list.

Some other items that are prohibited include:

  • Fish, shellfish
  • Raw sprouts
  • Eggs, milk, dairy
  • Fresh meat, dried meat, jerky
  • Juice
  • Baked goods that require refrigeration

Do I Need a License to Sell Homemade Food in Florida?

When thinking about how to start a food business from home in Florida, there are some questions you should ask. One of them is, do I need a license to sell homemade food in Florida? The good news is a cottage food business in Florida does not need a permit. However, when selling homemade food in Florida, it is critical to ensure you are not allowing your customers to eat the food you sell onsite. If they do, you will need special permits to sell your food. Otherwise, you do not need a home bakery license Florida.

To ensure you do not need a permit to sell food from home Florida, it is essential that you understand what is considered cottage food in Florida. Cottage food products are items that do not require time or temperature controls to keep and store them safely. Therefore, cottage foods should not require refrigeration, freezing, or water to ensure they are safe to consume.

When answering the question, do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in Florida you want to ensure you understand what foods are allowable under the Florida cottage food laws. This helps you determine if you need a cottage food license. You also want to understand the Florida cottage food law taxes before you start up your business.

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