Florida

Law status: ENACTED


Sales type
Direct only
Sales venues
4 out of 8 allowed
Allowed foods
Many

Sales limit
$15,000 per year

Florida’s cottage food laws are somewhat restrictive, though fortunately it’s very easy for a producer to start selling.  No license or permit is required, and there are no training or inspection fees, and the laws are fairly lenient when it comes to the allowed foods that a producer can sell.  Unfortunately, the producer is restricted to only $15,000 of sales per year, and they may only sell directly to consumers — no wholesale, mail order, or internet sales are allowed.

Selling

Sales Venues
  • Home
  • Farmers markets
  • Food stands
  • Retail stores
  • Restaurants
  • Events
  • Mail orders
  • Internet

Although you can’t sell through internet or stores, you may deliver your product to consumers.  Advertising over the internet is acceptable.

“Events” refers to flea markets and deliveries to an event venue (like a wedding).

Here is some info about collecting sales tax in Florida.

Sales are limited to $15,000 per year

Business

Although you don’t need a license from the Ag Department to get started, you may need to get a standard business license, if your city or county requires it. You can call your planning division to find out if any zoning requirements apply to you.

Miami-Dade county does not allow cottage food operations at all, and other counties or cities may have similar restrictions.

Allowed Foods

  • Biscuits
  • Breads
  • Brittles
  • Brownies
  • Cakes
  • Caramel corn
  • Cereals
  • Chocolate
  • Chocolate-covered items
  • Cobblers
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Dried fruit
  • Dried pasta
  • Dry coffee
  • Fudge
  • Granola
  • Hard candies
  • Herbs
  • Honey
  • Jams & jellies
  • Mixes
  • Muffins
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Pastries
  • Pies
  • Popcorn
  • Preserves
  • Pretzels
  • Rolls
  • Scones
  • Seasonings
  • Soft candies
  • Spices
  • Sweet breads
  • Vinegars

Most items that are classified as non-potentially hazardous are allowed. Only fruit-based jams and jellies are allowed. Baked goods with alcohol are not allowed. If you have a question about a product, you can call the Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection at 850-245-5520.

Labeling

Label Requirements
  • Product name
  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Phone number
  • Email address
  • Ingredients
  • Net weight
  • Date produced
  • Allergens
  • Nutrition info
  • Statement
Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida's food safety regulations" (10-point type)

Forrager Cookie Company
123 Chewy Way
Cookietown, FL 73531

Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)

Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)

If any nutritional claims are made, the federal labeling requirements for nutrition info must be followed.

Workplace

The producer’s kitchen can only have one stove and oven (or double oven), and it must not have commercial kitchen equipment, like large mixers.

This page was last updated on July 21st, 2013

If I receive a Small Business Nutrition Labeling Exemption from the FDA does this supersede the Florida Cottage Foods Labeling requirements?
What would I put on my label?
Would I even have to put one except for the Made in a cottage food operation….. and my business name and address?

    You still have to put everything in the Labeling section on your label, but the exemption means you don’t have to put a nutrition label on it.

    Jennifer

    Davis is correct, you are required to label your Cottage Foods. The BASIC information that must be on the label is as follows:
     Name and address of the Cottage Food operation.
     Name of the Cottage Food product (All capital letters or upper/lower case are both acceptable).
     The ingredients of the Cottage Food product, in descending order of predominance by weight. If
    you use a prepared item in your recipe, you must list the sub ingredients as well. For example: soy
    sauce is not acceptable, soy sauce (wheat, soybeans, salt) would be acceptable.
     The net weight or net volume of the Cottage Food product (must also include the metric
    equivalent, conversion charts are available online).
     Allergen labeling as specified in federal labeling requirements.
    The following statement: “Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to government food safety inspection” (All capital letters or upper/lower case are both acceptable provided they are ten point font size.).
    Hand-printed labels are acceptable if they are clearly legible, written with dura-ble, permanent ink, and printed large enough to equal the font size require-ments listed above.

David, would I be allowed to fill gift baskets with pre-packaged, unopened food items, in my home and sell them at art shows, holiday events, craft shows, or church bazaars?

    Jennifer

    No, the cottage food legislation prohibits sales by consignment since art shows, holiday events, craft shows or church bazaars is not the cottage food operation, you would not be able to sell your cottage food products from these locations. A permitted food establishment cannot sell foods from unapproved source. Since the safe food handling practices are not being evaluated at your home, the cottage food is not considered an approved source and cannot be sold at permitted events. Even though an entity may meet the requirements of a Cottage Food Operation and be permitted, some direct marketing venues may require vendors to have a food establishment license or to meet other requirements. Local policies enacted by farmers market boards and other local governing bodies are generally outside the scope of any Cottage Foods regulations.

    If you are paying for a booth at an event (craft fair, bazaar etc.) and are selling your product directly to the consumers it would be covered and allowed by the Cottage Foods Laws. But with what you are describing, I wouldn’t think that would count as cottage foods at all. If you are not making any of the food products (say putting a bag of M&M’s, peanuts and a teddy bear in a basket and wrapping it up, I’m sure I’m over simplifying). You’re not making food you’re making a product.

    Penny, if you are making the items yourself, then it’s not allowed (as Jennifer said) because the only events you can sell at are farmers markets and flea markets.

    If you are not making the items and are just reselling them, this may be allowed with a different permit. Try calling the ag dept and see if a seller’s permit is all you need… Jennifer may know more about this.

I’m a board member of a non-profit organization that would like to allow our members to sell their cottage food products at our meetings and/or events. Is there anything that we need to be aware of if we do this. In particular we’re concerned about liability if there is a problem between the vendor and the buyer as a percentage of the sale would go to our organization. We’ve looked into a release of liability agreement with the vendor but we’re not sure about what to do if the buyer comes after us as well.

    Jennifer

    The Department does not handle liability between owners/businesses/organizations, that is something you have to work out amongst yourselves.

    Dennis, the cottage food law in Florida doesn’t allow CFOs to sell at events like yours. You may be able to fall back on the baked goods exemption for charitable causes… I haven’t looked at that law for Florida recently, but you should call your health dept and see what they say. http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#nonprofit

Kel Beavers

I make gourmet dog treats in Al- a store in FL is wanting to purchase my treats to sell in their store. What rules or regulations do I need to know about?

    Jennifer

    The Cottage Food Law does not include food for pet consumption, only food for human consumption, you will ned to contact the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Industry to inquire about their regulations at 850-410-0900

I am looking to start a protein bar business. I would like to start by making the orders in my house (conventional kitchen) until company gets big enough, then will get a store. The bars are make with granola, nuts, fruit and protein. I also would like to sell the product online as I am aware online advertising is permitted and will start to generate online sales. What license would I need to start this business until I move into a store?

    Jennifer

    The Cottage Food law includes Cereals, trail mixes and granola, the law prohibit sales over the internet, by mail order, or wholesale but you can advertise over the internet. Depending on what county you are in you may not be able to operate under the Cottage Food law, you will need to contact your local Business Tax/ Tax Collectors Office to find out if they recognize the cottage food law.

    If you want to do online sales, then you need to get a commercial license: http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#commercial

Hi, I’m wondering if caramel apples would fall under Florida’s cottage food law. If not, what sort of license or permit would be required to sell caramel apples at flea/farmer’s markets?

David

Hi, David. Thanks for all of the useful info here. I see that several people have asked about coffee already, but I had a slightly different question.

I am going to be selling dry, retail-packaged coffee at flea and farmers markets in northeast Florida. I wanted to hand out samples of the coffee that I’ll be selling. Do you think brewed coffee would be allowed as a free sample as long as it is the same coffee we’re selling, or would it not be allowed because it’s a different form of the product being sold? Would it matter if it’s brewed on site or at home?

Thank you for your time.

Terri

Hello,
I have just been made aware of the Cottage Foods Law. I wanted to sell sugar cookies from my home and have relatives out of state who would like to mail me a check for payment then have me send the cookies to other relatives out of state. Is this allowed?
thanks,
Terri

Jessica

Hello,

I currently am doing a specialty coffee business in the Lee County area out of my home. I will be using ground coffee along with other nutritional herbs. I was curious what the laws are on this? Do I need any permits or need to contact the Dept. of Agriculture for review? There is no good information in regards to coffee sales online with clear direction. Thank you in advance!

Machelle

Hi David, just got off phone with Dept of Ag. Informed that I can’t sell baked goods with alcohol under cottage law. My question is…..does this mean I can only do this with some type of license? And if I get a license….does it still mean I can never sell Rum cakes from home? Thanks!

    Jennifer

    Correct, products containg alcohol are not covered under the cottage food law and you will be required to obtain a permit to sell that product, along with that permit you will be required to obtain a commissary kitchen were you will make and store the product as you will not be considered a cottage food vendor.

Migdalia Cintron

Hi David, I make cakes, cupcakes, cookies at my house and I would like to know if I can sell my products in a flea market. I live in Manatee County. Thanks!

    Jennifer

    Yes. Even though an entity may meet the requirements of a Cottage Food Operation and be permitted, some farmers markets or other direct marketing venues may require vendors to have a food establishment license or to meet other requirements. Local policies enacted by farmers market boards and other local governing bodies are generally outside the scope of any Cottage Foods regulations. So you may want to contact farmers market where you are wanting to sell to inquire if they allow vendors operating under the cottage food law to sell their products at that flea market, if they do not allow cottage food vendors you will need to obtain a food permit from DOACS and any other permitting reguired by Manatee County.

Is the $15000 for one bakery? What if there are two people involved in the bakery? Is it limited to $15000 per person or altogether?

    The limit is for one cottage food operation — not per person. Usually there can only be one CFO per kitchen, but I haven’t found the info online for Florida that specifies that. However, I’m pretty sure that if you called the ag dept, that’s what they would tell you.

Homeschool mom here and want to help supplement our household income and educate the children as well on business. My questions are…. pray not to silly…. but I make homemade breads, homemade jams, homemade laundry soap (liquid & powder), and my kids pot plants and herbs. Would all of this be allowed to sell at one booth? Is it silly to try and sell all of this under one tent? Would a license be needed? Thank you in advance for your response.

    There isn’t any regulation on selling uncut plants — you can do that without a license. The homemade breads and jams would fall under this cottage food law, and as I understand it, the cottage food law is limited to food only. You should call your health dept about the soap.

    From what I’ve seen, a CFO’s success often has more to do with marketing than what they are selling. If you combined these into a marketing effort and included your kids, it’s quite possible it could resonate with buyers.

heidi

If someone is operating a cottage food business from their house, are they obligated to discloses how many pets are in their home.

    It shouldn’t matter how many pets are in your home. If someone was asking me, I’d just tell them and it should make no difference, especially if I described the measures I took to make sure the products were not contaminated. But no, you’re not obligated.

Kevin

Hi. I was interested in selling fermented vegetables at a farmers market. They are shredded vegetables packed in jars that don’t require refrigeration.
Would this be allowed under the cottage food law?

Krystle

Hello I’m new to this. I would like to sell dog treats , cakes and cupcakes that are pre packaged mixes from scratch.i have a self hosted website and was wondering if I needed a license or anything and if I do can you please provide a link for me of the ones I need.

Sheryl

Can two people at the same address have two different businesses?

eli

hello i wanted to know if its ok to sell homemade cup cakes with pre packaged ingredients like from a box not from scratch would that be ok under the cottage law i live in palm beach county fl and what type of icing could i use on the cup cakes ?

Kimberly

Can I sell my Cottage Foods items in front of my home?

    Even though you can sell your products from home, you probably can’t setup a stand in front of your home and sell from there. Roadside stands can only be setup where zoning allows it, and usually the planning division doesn’t allow businesses to be operating in residential neighborhoods.

Tracie Saad

Hi David~
I make a chocolate sauce similar to nutella that I want to sell. Does that fall under the cottage food law? Or do I need a commercial kitchen to prepare it. It’s ingredients are in powder form and I mix them with water. No refrigeration is required.

Sam Deputy

David, We are volunteers with several festivals and would like to include more cottage or small food businesses in our events. Where can we find list of small businesses?

    Since CFOs aren’t registered with the ag dept in Florida, I don’t think there is such a list. It is my hope that the directory on this site will grow to a point where it will be much easier to find these businesses. For now, you can look at the CFOs listed on the map on the homepage, try to contact people in the Florida group, and also check out the Facebook page to find CFOs that have listed themselves on Facebook.

taylor

i am wondering if i used boxed cake mix by pilsbury what do i list for my ingredients?

    Just take the ingredients from the box and duplicate them on your label. You’re supposed to list the ingredients in order of weight, so if you have other ingredients you’re adding, it may be hard to know what order to put them in. If you can’t really make an educated guess, you can always separate them by listing “cake mix” and putting the ingredients of the mix in parentheses.

A Z

Hi David,
I am wondering if I can sell fruit and vegetable purees at a farmers market in Sarasota under the cottage law. These would not be jellied, but consist of fruits, herbs, spices, and vegetables. Please let me know if this is not ok, would just the sale of fruit purees, not vegetables be ok. Thank you! Oh, can I freeze them and sell them in frozen cubes too?

rick

Can I roast coffee and sell it at a farmers market or do I need a florida dept of agriculture license?

what does “events” include as venues?

can i make sweet potatoe pie?

Michelle

I have a question about sale venues, i see food stand listed. What exactly is that? Can i set up a food stand in my yard and sell from there? If inhad a yard sale and also set up i table with my baked goods good i sell like that? There is a farm down the street from me thatvsells veggies an fruit, they have a food stand( i guess that is what it is called) can i sell my items there? What about facial scrubs made from coconut ol, sugar & lavendar or vanilla, is this kind of product allowed?

    You should check with your planning division to see what places in your area you can set up a food stand. Most neighborhoods are probably not allowed, but if you get permission from the farmer, you should be able to sell at their food stand.

    The cottage food law only applies to items that are intended for human consumption. This also excludes some food items, like pet food.

Hi David… I’ve been researching for days in hopes of starting a baked goods business but I still have a few questions. I’m in Broward County FL and I am wondering if I need to register a business name or fictitious name. I would like to create business cards to hand out and will have my chosen name on these cards obviously. Also, are there any other requirements Broward has that the state laws do not mention? Thank you…

    I don’t know about Broward’s specific requirements, but Broward’s planning division should be able to answer questions like this.

WBraswell

David,

I am beginning my home bakery in Florida…if I have a question concerning the proper order of my ingredients for my label, is there a contact for this? Thanks for all the help/information you are providing!

    I don’t know a labeling specialist in Florida, but basically, your ingredients need to be ordered from most to least (by weight). Does that answer your question?

Nicole

Hi,
I understand that Miami-Dade County does not partake in the Cottage Food Law. However, I am a bit confused seeing as I know people firsthand that are selling their baked goods to establishments under this Law. There’s also a contradiction as far as the Farmers Markets go.

One more thing, I don’t see doughnuts on the list. Are these not allowed?

    Doughnuts are generally fried and therefore aren’t allowed under the cottage food law. Illegal home food businesses are extremely common, which would explain why you’re seeing them.

can dehydrated beef jerky be sold under cottage law? no refrigeration needed.

Hi I’m new to this and the sight and would like to start selling under the cottage law. I was wondering do I need any type of license/permit or a standard business license? Also do I need insurance? I’m in the Orlando area. Do I need to contact anyone? Any advise on how/were to get started? : ) Thanks! I have found this sight extremely informative and helpful.

Sherri

Good Morning,

Can I make and sell nut milks at Florida farmer’s market– hemp, almond, cashew?
Thanks in advance.

KIESHA

Hello David. Am I able to sell cheesecakes at a Farmers Market under the Cottage Law?

dbm

Hi David, under the CF Law I am not required to have a licensed kitchen to sell. In many Farmers Markets I am told I have to have a licensed kitchen permit and a food handlers certificate in order to sell. I understand Farmers Markets can make their own guidelines…but if I’m told it’s the law and I’m referred to the Dept of Agriculture’s website to read on it and that’s why they require it…I’m confused. The Dept of Ag does not require it. I am trying to sell in Walton and Bay counties and specifically in Panama City Beach, Panama City, Parker and Callaway. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Even though the ag dept doesn’t require it, if the farmers market requires a commercial license from the health dept, then that’s what you need to get if you want to sell there. If the farmers market is simply ignorant about the cottage food law, then maybe you could educate them and see what they say. Or you could try finding a farmers market that allows CFOs.

Do hot sauces/pepper sauces (that don’t have a tomato base and don’t require pickling) qualify as cottage foods?

Brooke

I am looking into selling jams and jellies at my local farmer’s market. I know I need to come up with a name for my “business” (sorry it’s hard to think of it as a business yet). I also know I need to have labels with all of the pertinent info (name, ingredients, weight, etc.). Based on this and a few of the other comments, I have several questions:

1. Who’s address is supposed to be on the label? Mine where I actually make the jams/jellies?
2. If there are only 3-4 ingredients, do I still need to put the allergens disclaimer?
3. Is the net weight to include the jar and lid? Or is it just the jam itself?
4. When I advertise, can I have people call me and take phone orders or is it only face-to-face?
5. One of your comments said testing had to be packaged at home, so would I process the jam as normal and put it into small tasting cups with lids for people to walk away to try? Or can I have an open jar of jam with crackers or a small tasting spoon for them to try it?
6. I’ve read that I do have to pay taxes and then I’ve read that I don’t. How do I determine which is correct? I live in Pinellas County, Florida.
7. Do I need to put nutritional information on the jams/jellies or would I be exempt?

Sorry to bombard you with so many questions. I just don’t want to miss anything. :)

    Brooke

    In addition to #5, if the jams are packaged into tiny tasting cups, would I be able to have tasting spoons available for them to help themselves? Where I wouldn’t actively hand them a sample on a spoon?

    1. The address where the product is made
    2. Yes, unless the name of the allergen is in the ingredient list (e.g. “peanuts”)
    3. No, just the product
    4. http://cottagefoods.org/laws/usa/florida/#comment-20419
    5. Must be in individual cups with lids, that the consumer opens themselves. You can have spoons available.
    6. I assume you’re referring to sales taxes. You definitely need to pay income taxes.
    7. http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#nutrition-label

    Brooke

    Thank you. :)

    One more question… I see that pepper jelly isn’t allowed under the cottage law. I’m guessing that’s to do with veggies? Can jams have spices in them? Like a strawberry basil jam (that has fresh basil before processing)?

    Placing dry spices in a jam should be okay, but using fresh basil wouldn’t be allowed.

    Brooke

    You said jams couldn’t have fresh ingredients like basil, but they could have dried basil. Would this also apply to chile peppers too (like ground ancho chile powder, etc.)? And is vinegar OK to have in jams (I saw the no sauces post but wasn’t sure if it was just the peppers and veggies or if it was the vinegar too)?

    Hmmm… usually spices are safe to add to your products without affecting their shelf-life. I would assume this is true of all spices, including chile powder, but I really don’t know. Your comment has caused me to reconsider my statement about the basil… I can’t be 100% sure. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t be able to use vinegar, but you really should call the dept at 850-245-5520 to get the most accurate response.

dbm

Are taste samples allowed for customers at a farmers market? Thanks!

    Yes, but they need to be individually prepackaged at home in closed containers. They also must be the exact same product that you’re selling (if you are selling dip mixes, you can’t turn it into an actual dip for sampling).

I want to start selling cakes and cupcakes from my home in Volusia County. I use butter in a lot of icing recipes and cream cheese some of them, is this allowed under this law? Also I have a commercial oven that was given to me, would I be allowed to use it?

CASSIE

If I own a retail store can I sell my cottage food products in that store? The store is a speciality item store not a bakery, deli, etc..

    CASSIE

    I forgot to mention…..I the cottage food items would be mixes (dry ingredients) for brownies, soups, cookies, brownies that would be a pour and mix product. Nothing that is cooked or ready to serve.

    No you cannot. This ruling doesn’t make sense to me (based on the law), but that’s what they’ve decided.

Kelly B.

Hello David , I live in Hollywood FL. and I want to start a Cupcake, sweetheart cakes and gum paste flower (Sugar art) business out of my house and sell at the farmers market near my home and advertise on the internet and by word of mouth. I want to know does Hollywood FL. have a cottage Food Law.

    Miami Dade County is the only one that I’ve heard that disallows CFOs. It is a state law and you can confirm with Broward’s health dept that they allow CFOs.

Joel

David,
I am trying to find out what licensing I need to make and sell dog treats in my retail shop. I keep hitting the wall and no one can tell me. I don’t believe it falls under cottage but you seem to be very knowledgable as to where to look for answers. I live in and work in Palm Beach County Florida. Thank you,
Joel

    You’re right that they don’t fall under the cottage food law. You can get more info about pet treat licensing by calling the Feed Inspection Program at 850-617-7855.

Donna

Hi David,
I like to know if I can do catering under cottage law? Do the same rules as cottage law apply to catering?
Thanks

    You can make and package the allowed foods in your home. If you consider catering to be delivering those prepared (and possibly custom ordered) items to a specific location, then that is allowed. If you are wanting to open and serve your product, then you would need a special license. It’s possible that you could use a license for catering in-tandem with the cottage food law, but I’m not sure about that. Check with the health department for more info about catering.

    Donna

    David, can I make tarts and use whipped cream in my baking. Unlike farmers market that food will be out for a couple of hours, my pastries will be delivered from my fridge to customers fridge, until they consume it.

    You’re products must not require refrigeration. You can refrigerate them if you want to, but they should still be safe if they were left on the counter for a few days. Given that, anything cream-related is not allowed, and a tart would only be allowed if it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

Joe

I was thinking about getting a Breakfast Delivery business started out of my home for a very small local area to see if the business idea would fly. The idea would be to deliver pre bought bagels, donuts, muffins, coffee, juices etc for a small delivery fee. I am not sure if this falls under the cottage laws but then again I can’t see how I would be required to be in a commercial kitchen.

    Right — I don’t think this falls under either food law, since you are not using a kitchen to process food. I think the items you sell need to be individually prepackaged, and you may need to get a sellers permit from the county, but I’m not really sure. Start by calling the health dept and see if they can direct you more.

April

If I advertise on Facebook is it okay for customers to submit their orders via a private message / e-mail? What if they respond by leaving a comment to the post that they would like to place an order? For example, I advertise and someone leaves a comment saying they would like to order 2 dozen cookies. Is this acceptable?

    Orders over the internet are not allowed, but the most important thing is that the transaction happens in-person. You shouldn’t be taking payment or a credit card number over the phone or internet. My personal opinion is that you can choose to take a preorder like this if you want, but know that the customer is not committed to buy until they meet you in-person and pay.

Hello, I am interested in starting a cupcake business from home, advertising through internet and word of mouth, will I be required to take out any licenses or premission from the State? I live in Broward county.

    Sounds like your business would work without any licensing from the health dept, but you’ll still want to call your planning division to see if there are any requirements for your area.

Matt

I am trying to make a mostly-vinegar-based barbecue sauce that is about 90%+ vinegar, though I understand BBQ sauces in general are not permitted.
May I still add a tomato based product to my vinegar sauce such as ketchup as long I maintain a certain ratio of vinegar to tomato???
North Carolina barbecue sauces are essentially vinegar with flavorings, and this is what I am trying to make. It would be only enough to change the color of the vinegar.

    Based on the rules, this would still not be allowed. But you can call the dept and see if they would make an exception for your sauce: 850-245-5520.

Hi. I understand we cannot make beef jerky for human consumption under This law, but what about beef jerky for dogs? Could we market our product for dogs instead of humans and sell at fairs, etc. as vendors? Or do the same rules apply for both humans and animals? Thanks

David, I am looking at getting into the field of coffee making. Our downtown area is a very popular place for walking businessmen going from building to building and congested autos filling up the streets. I wanted to know how legal is it to build a coffee kiosk on an 8×10 or so trailer(whatever can fit in a parking spot) and put the trailer/cart in a parking spot on the side of the road(paying the parking meter of course) and selling coffee out of it(commercial grade machine). Thought I could even have a runner using square on a cell phone to go to vehicles at the lights, even possible walking distance delivery. How feasible is this? Doughnuts and what not would be later once established. Also I’ve read in that average coffee houses can bring 500+ a day.. that would be much greater then 15k law would allow. Guessing not everyone claims their wages? Thank you so much for you assistance in the matter.

    The cottage food law above applies to certain foods (not drinks) that are only prepared in a home kitchen. So your venture would fall under a completely different set of rules that I am quite ignorant of. It may be hard to find the info you want online, and calling the health dept will probably be the fastest way to get the answers you’re looking for.

Jessica

I know that under this law transactions have to be done face to face but is it possible to use a system like Square or the Paypal one? Or does it have to be cash?

I was preparing to begin selling my line of homemade pasta sauces and salsas at a local market but just found through this page that this is not allowed under the cottage food law. What license do I need to pursue to be able to do this?

Is the $15000 taxed? If so, is that before/after taxes? What happens if one person makes well over $15000 a year?

Donna

Hi David,
I love to sell cups of brewed tea along with my cookies and cakes under cottage law. Can I brew home then take it to farmers market? Or can I brew there?
Thanks,

    I don’t think you can do either. You should call your health dept and ask if there is a special permit for doing things like preparing coffee and tea at a market. I know other states have allowances for this, but I’m not sure about Florida.

Hello, my boyfriend and I would like to start a beef jerky business. would we be able to sell as vendors at flea market and such under the cottage food laws?

Donna

Hi David,
I have a stand in flee market in Tampa. I bake cookies and cakes under cottage law. My problem is that when it gets to warm outside, my cookies start to steam in their packages and get soft. Can I keep the packages without their lid? Do you have any suggestions how can I keep them cold in the warm summer time? I really need this work but keeping my cookies and cake cold is my big problem. Thanks

    You need to keep the lid on, since they need to be prepackaged in your kitchen, but you can keep them in a cooler until you need them. Your items must not need refrigeration (for safety purposes), but you’re still allowed to refrigerate/freeze them for freshness reasons if you want.

raul

David,
Can our church kitchen be used as a commercial kitchen to sell/ deliver prepared salads?
Or do we need to go to a licensed commissary? Also we do we get a check list to know we are doing everything correctly?

fanny

how do you report a vendor in Florida, who is absolutely not following the cottage food laws. they are not selling prepackaged food, they are not labeling the packages they are making on the spot, they are selling over the internet, and they are selling in more than 7 markets a week, which I m sure give them more money than only 15,000 a year. I have try to report them but no inspector seems to really care! it is really choking to me, especially that they are using allergen products like nuts and wheat, but also sugar, coconut, garlic what can I legally do to stop this vendor from fraud. the health department I feel like since they are not issuing them an health permit, feel like it is not on their hands to do anything. This vendor has been selling for over one year on the farmers market, and never followed the rules. no one seems to care. not even the manager of the markets. please please help

    This vendor would not even be eligible for the cottage food law if they need to make their items on the spot. If they are not registered with the health dept, then it sounds like you have good reason to report them, but if it were me, I wouldn’t get too stressed about it. If they are doing that much business, then they must have a good business, and if the health dept really doesn’t care, there’s not much you can do. http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#illegal

    thanks david for your answer,
    i have many reasons why this people need to be reported , including the fact that they are not reporting income and paying their taxes. is there another formal way, besides health department who really can care less, especially in florida! should i hire a lawyer agins the health department for not doing their job properly?

    I understand your concern, but I don’t think there’s really anything reasonable you could do. You might be surprised at how many illegal businesses are right around you in your county… this is only one of them. It might be unfair, but in the big picture, changing this one business is not going to change much. It is not surprising that your health dept doesn’t care… many have given up because it’s an uphill battle.

    Lisa

    Fanny, You need to contact the health department. Take pictures, video, etc and send it to them. I find they are too busy, or lazy, to check every complaint. (After I sent them pictures and the offenders information, someone came out the very next day.)

Question: Who I need to contact in order to be approved by the Board, if I live in Orange county (Orlando)

MaloneCakes

I have a question that I hope someone can answer. I’m a culinary graduate that is trying to start my own business but in the mean while I’m doing a variety of products from my apartment and the set up is excellent and great use of space. How do I get labels from the Cottage Act? Do I need them or I can just add my companies name n the label? Do you have to have an E.I.N # to sell from the cottage Act? I’ve read almost everything on here and other sites and I also have commission paper work in case I need to use them. All advise would be great, they don’t teach you this stuff in school.

One more question. Can I have a website and take orders over the website but deliver the items personally or have the customer pick up the items?

    You can only use the website to advertise. Basically, your customers shouldn’t be ordering anything unless they’re standing in front of you. This is a gray area in most states, but Florida’s pretty clear about it.

Have a few more questions. Sorry this is all new to me. First is do I need something stating that I would be covered under the cottage food law? Also, can I sell prepackaged bags of foods example being chips and such and also cans of soda? I wantto do the flea market and didnt know if I could sell these additional items at the stand also. Thank you!

    At one point it was new and confusing to me too.
    1) No
    2) I’m not positive, but you should be able to do this fairly easily, though not under the cottage food law. Check with your health dept… you might need a seller’s permit or something. They’ll tell you where you can sell them.

Hi David: First, thanks so much for all of the information on here. It’s perfect.

I have a question that you, or someone else may be able to clarify I hope, regarding labeling. I sell decorated cookies. Some people order 1 dozen, some order 2 dozen, etc.. Depending on the cookies they are also different sizes. Therefore, no two orders really weigh the same. We are required to put the net weight on our labels? How do we do that when each package is different? That seems awfully costly.

Kathleen

I am in Seminole County Florida and want to sell homemade items. The items are Dip Mixes, Spice Blend mixes, beverage mixes, cookie mixes, soup mixes and muffin mixes. Do I have to have a food license to do this? I also was reading that I could not have a website to do this as well is that correct? If I wanted to sell these items online would I need to have a food license instead? Thank you for any information that you can give.

    As long as they are all dry goods, then you could do this as a cottage food operation with the laws on this page. You can’t take sales over your website, but you can advertise there. If you wanted to sell online then you’d need to go commercial: http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#commercial

    Kathleen

    I had asked the question about the selling of homemade dry mixes. I wanted to sell them at the local Flea Market but wanted to put samples of some of the dips out. I contacted the flea market and they stated that I would need a food license or be covered under the cottage food law. The question is that if I would put samples out would that still be covered under the cottage food law or is that were I would have to get the food license? Thank You!

    The dip would require a food license (and commercial kitchen) to produce. You might consider starting with the cottage food law, since that’s easy, and acquiring a food license if it’s necessary.

Jennifer

Hi. I just moved to Pasco County from NY. I made fondant cakes for friends in NY and would like to get customers here in FL. Would I need a business license under the Cottage Food Law?

    I don’t know if Pasco County requires a business license, but the best way to find out is by calling their planning division. I assume you’re aware, but all of your sales need to be within Florida with the cottage food law.

Aimee

I was wondering if it is ok to sell dried cultures? I dry kefir grains and sourdough starter at home that I would like to sell.

Judy

I need the paper work sent to me again to be able to sell pickles made in a commerical kitchen. I can’t find the ones that was sent about a year ago. I use a recipe that uses processed pickles but understand they are not covered under the cottage law. Why can a church sell them but not an individiual?

    Churches and non-profits have special exemptions… I don’t really know why, other than that’s just the way it is. As soon as you try to sell commercially, you’re subject to the commercial food laws, which the cottage food law overrides.

what about the production of tomato based sauces and salsa’s

Paul

I want to make fresh juices from home in miami, what permits do I need?
Do you know of any commercial kitchens that rent space?

Can you use bacon grease as a butter substitute in cookie dough?

Yumanizer

Is the $15k based on net or gross sales?

Brandi Harris

Hey, I am wanting to start a cupcake business. I wanted to know if I would need to go under this law in order to that…. Or for the state of Florida can you sale baked goods from your home? Is there anything you need to get ahead of time in order to have this type of home based business? It can be a little confusing.. Sorry lol

    If you are making and selling from home, then all the rules on this page apply to you. Read through them and let me know if you have any questions.

Bill

Does this law cover sales of herb, fruit or vegetable plants (e.g. basil, tomato or spinach plants)?

Eric

I am interested in selling Chimichurri sauce at a local community farmers market in Broward County.

Would I qualify to sell under the Florida Cottage Law?

Thank you so much

Can I act as a cottage business if my baked goods contain alcohol? Do I need a special license?

    I’m not sure exactly what the ag dept in Florida will allow. Obviously cookies with a residual amount of alcohol from vanilla extract is okay, but I do think there is a point where you need to get special licensing for alcoholic goods. I wish I knew more, but you really need to call them to get an accurate answer: 850-245-5520.

Thank you for all the info and the ability to leave questions! My question is about packaging requirements.
- do I need to Vaccum pack items?
- do I need to specify “use by this ‘date’”?

    You do not need to do either. Remember that all the items that this law allows are inherently non-perishable, so choosing vacuum packaging or a use-by date would simply be a matter of freshness.

    Thank you! Follow up question. Some packages say “refrigerate after opening”, is the assumption of non-perishable in this law that even if the person opens/half eats the item, it can go back on the shelf? I am planning to sell granola bars with dried fruit. Some dried fruit packages say refrigerate after opening.

    Yes, it should be able to safely go back on the shelf. It is okay to recommend refrigeration if it is a freshness concern, rather than a safety concern. Your product should not be growing harmful bacteria if left unrefrigerated for more than a few hours… it needs to be considered a non-potentially hazardous food.

    Thank you! I called the FHD and they said dried fruits do nor need to be refrigerated after opening!

    Follow up question – can my item be resold by those who buy it from me? I have friends in other states.

    No, this would be classified as an indirect sale. You can only sell directly to the final consumer.

Was wondering about the advertising allowed for Cottage Food (cookies, cakes, etc..) I see a lot of people posting pictures and advertising online with personal websites or Facebook, etc… They usually state that you need to contact them to place an order via phone number or email for more information in this state, so is this allowed as long as you speak with the person placing an order and deliver the product?

Yolanda

Why is Miami-Dade county the only county not allowing CFO? Is there any license to obtain to sell desserts from home? (getting around it?) If I know someone who is running one illegally there, where do I report them? It doesn’t seem fair to other CFO’s following the state laws and they aren’t. Thoughts?

    It is either because they don’t believe the law is safe, or they are too busy keeping up with their current work that they don’t want to add the overhead of dealing with CFOs. There is no way to get around it, other than building a separate commercial kitchen in your house (which would be extremely expensive).

    I don’t really know if I’d say it’s unfair that they’re running their business illegally. If anything, I’d say that it’s unfair that everyone else in the state can run their business from home without having to worry about the risks of being illegal. There is probably nothing different with their business other than that they’re unfortunate enough to live in that specific area of Florida, so I can definitely sympathize with them. http://cottagefoods.org/faq/#illegal

CAPS

I am interested in making and selling dinners to my co-workers. They will be refrigerated at my home until delivery. Would this fall under the CF law?

Melissa

Hi David, I was wondering if dry flours fall under the Cottage Law as they were not mentioned above? Also, if an item does not fall under this Law:
- Possibly dry flours
- Homemade lotions & room sprays
- Reselling a commercially processed & packed product (toothpastes)
then the assumption is you need a license from the Ag Department and/or a standard business license, is that correct?

    Dry flours would be allowed… they’re simply not listed because people don’t commonly make them at home.

    To fall under the cottage food law, they need to be intended for “human consumption”. For those other items, you’d probably want to contact the health dept to learn how to produce and sell them.

Michelle

Pasta was on the YES list. (FL Cottage Kitchen site) but in making, let’s say, vegan lasagna it (even though no dairy) would still have to be refrigerated. Any idea on this?
Thank you!

Emily

My boyfriend and I would like to make and sell donuts and coffee on the weekend at the flea market in manatee county. What do we need to do?

    As you probably know, this would not fall under the cottage food law. I’m not exactly sure what you would need and recommend contacting your county’s health dept to find out. My guess is that reselling commercial donuts and coffee would probably be the easiest. If you want to make the donuts yourself, it would be much more complicated. If you only want to make and sell donuts (not coffee), these may be allowed under the cottage food law.

Hi there,

I would like to sell my savory jelly, which I jar (I don’t want to disclose ingredients for business reasons, but I don’t use fruits, I use vegetables). I realize I am unable to sell this product under the Cottage Food Bill. I have access to a commercial kitchen where I can make my product. I am writing to ask what licensing I need and where to apply. I have looked on the websites of the FL health department and agriculture department and can’t find any information. Please help, it’s too yummy to keep from the masses!

Thanks in advance for your time.

    Part of the reason this info isn’t online is probably because it’s more complicated to go this route, and the implementation can be different for every business. If you already have access to a commercial kitchen, then you’re well ahead of most people who want to start. You should call your health dept to learn about your next steps.

Emma

I’m interested in selling homemade herbal lotions & soaps. Would that qualify under Cottage Foods?

I make vegan jerky (wheat-gluten based). Do I need a food licence to sell these food items at a farmer’s market?

    Jerkies are only disallowed because they usually contain high amounts of protein from the meat, but it doesn’t sound like this would be the case if your jerky is mostly flour. However, I do see from an online search that some vegan jerkies still have a high protein content. You should call the dept (850-245-5520) to ask about this, and they may have you get your product tested in a lab before approving it.

I was looking at making dried mushroom chips and was wondering if they are cottage eligible as they don’t really fit into any of the categories.

    Interesting question, and I really don’t know. Dried fruits are allowed, but dried vegetables are not. But mushrooms are neither a fruit nor a vegetable, so I think you can make a case to the dept when you ask them: 850-245-5520. My guess is that these will be allowed, because unlike vegetables, I don’t think they’d be more likely to grow bacteria once sliced.

james

From what I am hearing pickles are not under the cottage law for some reason. My questions is the pickles I am producing are refrigerated moments after the brine is added and they are to be refrigerated the entire time. Does that make a difference? There is no canning or heating of the jars. Thanks

    It does not make a difference — pickles are disallowed no matter how they are processed. However, ironically enough, if pickles were to be added to a future Florida amendment, it would only allow pickles that do not require refrigeration. This is because only non-potentially hazardous foods (ones that don’t need heat or refrigeration to be safe) are allowed as cottage foods. Pickles can be made in a safe manner, but they are currently not allowed because they are much more potentially hazardous than other foods if the producer does not know how to properly can their goods — most likely due to the concern of botulism. Therefore, the ag dept currently prefers that these products remain more heavily regulated.

Travis

Hi David,
My CFO fits all of the above criteria. My question is, what do people typically do for CFO liability insurance? My farmer’s market requires it. Also can you point me in the right direction for dealing with Florida tax implications for CFOs.

Robin

I make a sweet pepper relish/jelly, is this allowed? Also do you need to sign up anywhere to use the Cottage Law or just list it on your labels? Thank you!

    Pickled items and pepper jellies are not allowed. You don’t need to sign up to be a CFO, but you do need to call your county’s planning division to make sure that CFOs are allowed in your county.

I want to bake and sell dog treats is that ok its mainly just flour

Tracy

I make specialty cheesecakes at home and have made them as gifts for friends and coworkers. I have had several inquiries recently about producing them for sale. I know cream cheese and other “potentially hazardous” foods are specifically disallowed under Florida’s Cottage Food laws, but I am not readily able to find comprehensive information on becoming a licensed or certified in order to sell my cheesecakes legally. Do you have any information on the steps I need to take? Or can you point me to a good resource?

    Honestly, I think the easiest way is for you to call the health department. Each business is so different that you should talk to them. I know you will need access to a commercial kitchen for food processing, and you will have to go through a number of steps, such as getting an inspection and detailing your production procedures.

Rafael

Hello David,
I make Key Lime pies and I bake them at home. They are refrigerated after they are cooked. I will bake them at night and sell them the next day. Is this product allowed under the cottage law? Also will I have to bake them in a commercial kitchen and can they be stored overnight in my home refrigerator? I have two home refrigerators. I plan on getting small business insurance and, an LLC. Thanks your help in advance.

    Refrigerated items like key lime pies are not allowed under the cottage food law. You would not be able to store your commercial business products in your home refrigerator. As a side note, you cannot be both a commercial food business and a cottage food business — you have to choose one or the other.

Tony

Hi David, do you know if oils can be sold that are already bottled by a manufacturer such as coconut oil, sunflower oil, etc? Also, prepackaged flours, rice and beans?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated!

Best Regards,

Tony

    Reselling is possible, but it doesn’t fall under the cottage food industry. The cottage food laws are for items that you are processing in your home kitchen. I’m not really sure what license you need to get to resell, but I know there’s a permit out there for that. You’d probably at least need to get a seller’s permit, and maybe something else. I’m not sure if the health dept regulates that but they would be the place I’d start.

Jennifer

Is the income limit per calendar year?

Angel balouta

What if you want to sell things from a garden that you have grown yourself? Also, I would like to sell things like homemade lotion and lotion bars. If this website doesn’t cover items like these where would I look or Florida laws concerning these type of items? Thank you

    You can use homegrown items in your baked goods, but you can’t use them to garnish your items.

    This cottage food law is for items that are intended for human consumption — unfortunately I don’t know where to direct you for producing lotions.

    In rereading your question, I should add that selling uncut produce from your garden doesn’t require any approval from the government. These cottage food laws are only for value-added foods, meaning that your processing food in some way.

My friend and I are looking to start a home-base bakery type of business. Our goal is to do wedding & Birthday cakes, cupcakes, cookies, and breads. We currently live in Orlando, Fl

1. Is Orlando covered under the Cottage Food Law?

2. Are Tres Leches, Flan, Corn Pudding and creme Brulee allowed?

3. What about different types of different cream fillings for cakes, allowed?

4. Cheese or stromboli bread types, allowed?

5.

    1. I haven’t heard that it’s not, so it’s probably covered.
    2. No, custards are not allowed.
    3. No cream-based items either… if it needs refrigeration, it’s not allowed.
    4. Sorry, no cheese items either.

Connie

Is Pinellas County, Florida okay to sell our baked cookies? Thanks for your time.

    I haven’t heard of any county other than Miami-Dade disallowing cottage food operations. You can call your ag department to check, but I think you won’t have any problem setting up your business.

Amanda

Hi, I make cheesecake flans. I understand that I cannot use the Cottage Food Law. However, if I use a commercial licensed kitchen can I sell these items at a Farmer’s Market?

Thanks!

Susana Rocha

Hi David,
I have a website, I can take orders by phone manufacture the product at time of order
but the delivery is in person

These products relate to Cakes for birthdays and weddings and cupcakes. I buy products and prefabricated.

Besides that I live in Miami Dade, is this allowed here?

ERIKA

I WANT TO SELL HOME MADE POPSICLE (JUST FRUIT, WATER, POSSIBLY SUGAR) IS THIS ACCEPTABLE? IF NOT WHAT PERMIT/LICENSING, ETC WOULD I NEED?

    This is not allowed and wouldn’t be possible to make from home without retrofitting your kitchen to adhere to commercial standards, which would cost thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars. You need to make these from a commercial kitchen and your health dept would be a good place to start asking questions.

Ann

Would salsa fall into the cottage industry?

Loiriam

Hello, my name is Loiriam. I live in Tampa. I had baked cookies experience for five years at school. I want to sell the baked cookies at home. Is Tampa allowing the cottage food operations?

teoubled annie

hi,
there are many things i do not understand, as i am just starting out. i make unbelievable homemade mozzarella… can i sell it downtown, in ice. ..in the brine? it needs no immediate refrigeration, so i wouldn’t have to ice it, but this is florida, lol.
what to do? can i go downtown, and sell it on ‘first friday’ or to little markets? or not at all.

thanks for your help, it is appreciated!

troubled annie

    I’m sure your cheese is excellent, but unfortunately, dairy products like that are not allowed under the cottage food law. You need to be making it out of a commercial kitchen in order to sell it.

Good evening. I understand that some Farmers Markets do not allow vendors that operate under the Cottage Food Law. Since this is a state law, wouldn’t this be consider discrimination by not allowing such vendors to operate in their premises? Do you have any information you can share on the subject?

    No, it’s not considered discrimination. In every state I know of, farmers markets are allowed to turn away CFOs and it happens all the time. It is their marketplace and they get to determine who can sell there. I think this is especially valid when a farmers market is dedicated to produce-only, but it’s unfortunate when they allow commercial bakers but not CFOs. However, most farmers markets do allow CFOs and you just need to try to find another one. Too bad they don’t get your delicious food!

Beatrice

I am interested in opening an in-home cupcake/cookie bakery. I am concerned however on what i may use for the frosting. Can i make a buttercream using butter, and milk? What about a ganache that uses chocolate and a little bit of cream or milk? How is “does not need to be refrigerated defined?

    The way that a non-potentially hazardous food is defined is a little complicated and varies from state-to-state. Buttercreams are usually fine. I have heard ganache going both ways… sometimes counties allow it and sometimes they don’t. For cases like this, you might be required to send your product in for lab testing, which is the only true way to determine if something is a non-PHF. Anyway, you just need to talk to the ag dept and see what they say.

Andrew

Hi David,

I read your article and read the comments but was still a little confused on one thing. Would cookies made from home but delivered to customers be acceptable? Considering each box is labeled as directed and that we do not gross more than 15k a year.

Thank you for taking your time to respond to this.

-Andrew

Mia

Hello, are Soups allowed to be made, processed and canned, no soups with meat, only vegetables.

Thank You ! Mia

Diana

I have a question I make chimichuri sauce its basicly dry herds in oil and viniger that do not require refrigeration can i sell that ?

    First of all, this would not be allowed as a cottage food, but more importantly, do you put garlic in yours? If you do, then it really needs refrigeration if left for more than a few hours. You can look online for verification about preserving garlic and oil mixtures.

    Diana

    no i do not put garlic its just italian parsley , oregano , olive oil and viniger

    Okay, just making sure. As I mentioned, the dept doesn’t allow oil mixtures so it’s not a cottage food either way.

Maiwi

Can the address be a P.O. Box?

I make cupcakes that have a little alcohol in them – most of it cooked out, but there is about 4 or 5 tablespoons of alcohol in the icing for 24 cupcakes. Would that be allowed? I’m bummed cream cheese isn’t allowed.

    The cupcakes might be okay, but probably not the icing. 1/2 tsp per cupcake seems like too much, but I don’t know for sure. You can call the ag dept for clarification, and if they aren’t allowed, they might still allow you to make them as a CFO with some extra licensing requirements.

This may be a stupid question, but what exactly counts as a food stand? If you had a bake sale, would this be a food stand? Can you have a food stand anywhere(besides outside stores) or does it have to be at a certain place(event, etc). Just trying to figure out all my options. Thanks!

    Generally, food stands refer to those individually by the road. I suppose it could be in other places though, but there are some places that your planning division wouldn’t let you put it (e.g. neighborhoods)… you could call them for more specific guidelines. Farmers markets and public events are in their own category, even though most sellers there sell from stands — the term “food stands” is intended to expand on those locations.

Sandy

I’m confused.. I have been looking more information about the cottage food law in Miami Dade and found out in here it isn’t available. But on last Sunday newspaper, I read an article about South Dade Farmers Markets and mentioned someone who operates her business under the Florida Cottage Food Law selling goodies at the Downtown Farmers Market which is part of Miami Dade County. I also read online about some local cottage food producers selling goodies at a fest at Redland Fruit & Spice Park which is also in Miami Dade. Where should I go for more information? Do you know what department in Miami Dade might have this kind of information?

    The most likely explanation is that those operations are doing business without their county’s permission. The less likely explanation is that the county has changed their stance. The reason that this page says that Miami-Dade does not allow CFOs is because a some commenters on here called the county and that’s what they told them. If you want to check for yourself, you can call your planning division.

jennelle

i would like to sell elderberry syrup and elderberry syrup/cherry extract homemade gummies. i can the syrup so no refrigeration. and the only ingredients are elderberries, cinnamon, and honey. for the gummies its the syrup, cherry extract and gelatin. what category of cottage foods does this fall under? preserves?

    Even though “preserves” are allowed, “canned fruits” are not allowed. I know, I’m confused too. I could try to make guesses about whether your product is allowed, but ultimately it’s up to the department to decide: 850-245-5520. Your products both seem to fall into a gray area that only they could clarify. Would you mind letting us know what the ruling is, when you find out?

My name is Kyra. I was wondering it things like homemade Extracts are permitted under the Cottage Food law.
Also, do homemade Essential oils fall under this law as a permitable item or is that listed under an entirely different law?

    I have not heard about whether extracts are allowed, but they are probably not. Check with the department at 850-245-5520.
    Also, are you referring to bath oils? All of your items need to be intended for human consumption.

    Kyra, I also just noticed that flavored oils are not allowed under this law, regardless of what they are intended for.

Steph

So, Miami-dade does not allow any baked goods to be sold from home?

Alina

I plan to lease a commercial kitchen to bake and sell Spanish flan . What permits am I required to have

If it doesn’t NEED to be refrigerated but would benefit from refrigeration is it ok? I make raw nut bars with almonds, cashews, honey, coconut oil, and dried fruit… they won’t spoil without refrigeration but they hold together better when they’re cold.

Bianca

I know i can only sell directly to the customer, but if i want to DONATE my baked goods, can I ship those to the charity?

    I know it seems like the rules would be different if you were giving your food away, but generally, the rules are the same no matter how much you charge.

Fara

Hi David,
I am thinking of getting permit for my bakery business. What kind of permit do I need? How much it costs and what is the procedure? Also, once I get a permit, will I need to label each single bakery item? And will I be able to use cream cheese, … In my baking then? Thanks.

    If you want to bake from home, then you need to follow the rules on this page, and you don’t need a license from the ag dept. You need to label whatever you are selling so that each buyer walks away with a label. You cannot use cream cheese in your products.

Cassie

I make homemade dog treats and food, are these covered in the Cottage food Law. They do not contain any dog food products. Also could products that need refrigeration be sold as a mix with instructions (like mac and cheese). Also if I do a dog food based Cottage Food Business could my significant other still do one for goods for people?

    You may not sell items that require refrigeration, and you can only have one cottage food operation per home kitchen.

    And I’m afraid I have more bad news… pet treats are not allowed. The ag dept says that you can learn more about pet treat licensing by contacting the Feed Inspection Program at 850-617-7855.

aisha

I will like to sell miniature cheesecakes and cookies and other desserts at the farmers market. One of the main ingredients in the cheesecake will be cream cheese but it will bake and not a filling inside the cheesecake. Will I be able to sell the cheesecakes at the farmers market.

angie

Where can I find specific information in writing to keep that would pertain to my city/county that would pertain to my cottage business…

    I think you’ll need to call up your city/county for the documents about their specific rulings. It’s really hard to find statewide documents online… it’d probably be next-to-impossible to find local ones online for most counties.

Debbie

Hi. I’m going to be selling at the local farmer’s market this Saturday. I have made apple hand pies, cupcakes, buckeye cookies and cinnamon streusel muffins. I’m wondering, does each individual item need to be wrapped and an ingredient label attached, or can I package and label only the items on my display table and then keep the rest of the items in a box with one ingredient label. Thank you.

karen

my daughter and I want to start a cottage farm business selling canned products, produce, sauces, jams and jellies – can we each make 15000 a year? Is that profit only not to include money spent on tools and products etc?

    It’s $15,000 per CFO, and each home kitchen can only support one CFO. So if you and your daughter live together, you would need to make $15,000 a year combined. That $15,000 limit refers to gross sales, not profit.

Randy Rowles

Can you confirm that cold-brew coffee concentrate would not be allowed. What is required to get into the coffee product business?

    It would not be allowed, but selling dry roasted coffee beans would be allowed. To make your coffee concentrate, you need to start a standard food business and make your product out of a commercial kitchen.

Cindy

Hi!
I was wondering if I lease a store front (with no kitchen on site) just a few display cases with my cupcakes. No customer sitting area.. Can I sell the baked goods made from my home kitchen there? I mean, if one can sell from a lunch truck or food stand.. can I sell from a leased store front labeling all my homemade goods under tje cottage food law? Thank you for taking the time to answer. X)

    If the store you’re selling in is not a food facility, then you might be able to sell there. In fact, my guess is that you can, but I’m not sure. I’d recommend you call the ag dept for a final answer.

    Jen

    You may sell your cottage food products from your residence directly to the consumer. Sales are also approved at farmer’s markets, flea market and roadside stands. You cannot sell from a store that is considered retail, I work for Agriculture.

brenda

Hi David, I live in Ft. Myers and I was wandering if you have to have a business name to operate under the Cottage Food Law.

    I think what you’re asking is if you need to get a business license. You might, but you need to ask your planning division what you’re required to do. It is possible that you won’t need to get a license and you will just run the business under your name as a sole proprietorship by default.

    Jen

    You need to contact your County Business Tax license to inquire if they allow you to operate a cottage food business without a Buisness License.

Fara

Hi David,
Can I make cheese danish which has cheese and egg mixture, baked in the danish? Also, I am interested in selling fruit preserves. What is the regulation for it?

    An item with cheese in it would not be allowed. Fruit preserves are allowed, but chutneys and canned fruit are not allowed. There is no special regulation for jams, jellies, and fruit preserves.

Shayna

Hi, I am interested in selling my cakepops, and am very confused as to what I need to do to be able to sell them from my home? Do I need to pay anything to be qualified as a “Cottage” kitchen? Is there any inspection or paperwork I need to fill out? Any info would be MUCH appreciated! I just came across this Cottage Law so this is very new to me!

    You do not need to be registered as a cottage food operation from the health department, but you should contact your county’s planning division to see if there are other requirements for you, like getting a standard business license. I know it’s a little confusing, but you should be able to start your business pretty quickly. You do not need to get your kitchen inspected.

    Kristin

    In making cake pops, are we allowed to use cake mix that you purchase at the store (like Pillsbury or Dunkin Hines) as part of your ingredients, same with the frosting? Thanks for your help!

    Yes, those products are definitely allowed because they were produced in an inspected facility, which is considered very safe. And I’m sure Duncan Hines and Pillsbury won’t mind you buying more of their products.

Angelina

Hello,
I have been selling baked good under the Cottage Food Law, I would like to star selling at a Farmers Market and they have some of their own rules and regulations which requires a health inspection along with license and insurance. I am trying to check into all of this to get started but my question is, under the Cottage Food Law are you allowed to have a dog living in the home? Thanks for any help.

    The law doesn’t say anything about not allowing pets in the home, but I would think that at the very least, you should have a way of preventing your dog from entering the kitchen while working. There are some states that do not ever allow pets to be in the home.
    It is perfectly legitimate for a farmers market to require whatever they want.

Beth

Would I be able to sell bread products that contain a cured meat (pepperoni) that requires no refrigeration?

I would like to sell prepackaged dried persimmons that I packed at home (only one ingredient) at farmer’s markets. Can I sell the product for a certain dollar amount PER PACK rather than with a net weight listed on the label? Or do I have to have the net weight listed? If I have to have the net weight listed on the package label, do I have to purchase a certified scale and have the scale certified by the State of Florida? Thanks for your help!

    The label on the package needs to say either the net weight or net volume. You do not need to sell your persimmons by weight — you can sell them per pack, just as long as the net weight of the pack is on the label. If the weights of the packs vary, then you can just write the weight on the pack as you package and weigh them. I don’t think you need to get a certified scale.

David

I have a collage food operation making jams what should I do so that I can make more then the 15000 a year I want to go big.

    So I am assuming you are approaching that limit? Even if you want to “go big”, I’d still recommend doing it gradually. I recently talked to someone who had thousands of jars of mustard go bad on them because they overpredicted how fast they’d get going. After significant losses, now they are starting small again.

    In order to move beyond the cottage food laws, you need to get a commercial food license, which your health department can explain how to get. You will need to make your jams from a commercial kitchen, which you may need to rent, and you may also be required to take some courses on safe canning practices.

    Jen

    If you want to sell jams and are making more thant $15,000 annually you are required to obtain a Food Permit, but you cannot do it from home it has be done from a commercial kitchen that has handsink, a mopsink, 3 compartment sink, hot and cold running water and a restroom, that kicthen has to be inspected by an inspector, and you would need to contact you local County Tax Collector or Buisness Tax Office to find out what they would also require you to have.

Mindy

I have a question pertaining to fundraisers. We would like to sell pies & Cakes as a bake sale fundraiser for Thanksgiving. What are the regulations on this?

    Usually charitable bake sales fall under different regulation than sales for profit. I wasn’t able to find Florida’s law specifically about this, but virtually all states have a provision allowing for bake sales at churches and other non-profit organizations. You may be required to get a simple permit for holding the sale, depending on its size and place (check with your planning division about that). My guess is that you’ll be free and clear to do this, without any regulation.

Michelle

Was wondering where fresh vegetable juicing on the spot at green markets fall into pertaing to the cottage food law?

Can I sell my keylime pies and apple pies under the Cottage Food Laws? Do I need a foodhandlers permit?

Judy

Hello David, wondering if chicken pot pies are allowed?

Patrick

Is it true the home kitchen needs to be separate from the living area? Some one said I actually two kitchens?

thanks…

    No, you don’t need two kitchens — what you may have heard is that your personal activities and/or equipment needs to be kept separate from your business activities. In some states, that means that you can’t be cooking dinner for your family while making products for your cottage food operation. However, I don’t think Florida actually requires this in their law, though it is a good practice to maintain.

Mayra

Can I use canned fruit (sold in the store) to decorate cakes?
Can I use whole strawberries (uncut, sold in store) to decorate cakes?
Can I use natural fruit for baking cakes?
Can I use canned condensed milk, evaporated milk and condensed milk cooked?
Can customers pick up the cake in my home or I do I have to deliver to customers?
Can I sell my cakes out of home, such as festivals, events, farmers markets or Flea Markets ?

Thank you.

    You final product must not need to be refrigerated. Canned fruit usually needs refrigeration once open.
    You can place whole, uncut strawberries on your cakes, and it doesn’t matter where they come from.
    It depends on the amount, but usually you can bake fruit into cakes and be fine, just as banana bread and fruit pies are allowed.
    You can use milk products, as long as you are using a reasonable amount and baking them into the product.
    Pickup from your home is fine.
    You can sell at all of those types of events, as long as the sales are made directly between you and the customer.

    Again, the main thing is that the products you sell do not require refrigeration or heat to keep them safe.

Carl von Kloeter

What about Pelatas or Italian Ice. Both are considered non-hazardous, but both require freezing to keep them fresh. Noone seems to know what to say about these items. Ice Cream is hazardous due to cream base.

    No, these would not be allowed. It is the water activity level in pelatas and italian ice that makes them potentially hazardous. Generally, anything with a water activity level over 0.85 is considered potentially hazardous (exceptions would be acidic items with a pH below 4.6). I know what you’re saying about them being safe, even after melted, but that’s just the way the law was made.

Ginny

So no salsa, dilly beans, dill or bread and butter pickles are covered under the cottage law?

Hi! I am looking at selling nut butters at a farmers market in Miami — i see nuts/seeds are listed under cottage industry. Does this include nut butters as well? Many thanks!

    Karen

    Hi, Yesterday I went to the zoning and permits office in Miami, and I was told that the cottage law doesn’t apply in Miami, that the only business aloud in a residence in Miami-Dade is a home office. Have you spoken with somebody that gave you an o.k? At this point I don’t know what to do, and who to listen. Thanks

    Christy, nut butters may be allowed, but you should check on it by calling 850-245-5520.

    As far as Karen’s comment goes, it is true that some cities and counties are disallowing the law, which is really disappointing. I’m sorry if that is the case for you.

    Karen are you serious?? Noooo that is so upsetting! Who did you talk to?

    Jen

    Karen, it is true that come counties aree not allowing cottage foods to be operated you may want to talk to the legislative representative in your area, or city council. Even though the cottage food law was passed counties have the right to approve or deny the use of it in their areas.

I will be selling at a Fall Festival my cookies and cakes. Do I need to label each cookie or can I have an ingredient list posted on my table?

    All of your products should be packaged at home. If you are individually wrapping your cookies, then yes, they each need to have a label. It would not be okay to have a plate of cookies sitting out at the festival.

    Jen

    All cottage food products, offered for sale to the general public, must be labeled: ”Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida’s food safety regulations.”

    A cottage food operation may only sell cottage food products which are prepackaged with a label affixed that contains the following information: (printed in English)
     The name and address of the cottage food operation;
     The name of the cottage food product;
     The ingredients of the cottage food product, in descending order of weight;
     The net weight or net volume of the cottage food product;
     Allergen information as specified by federal labeling requirements;
     If any nutritional claim is made, appropriate nutritional information as specified by federal labeling requirements; and
     The following statement printed in at least 10-point type in a color that provides a clear contrast to the background label: “Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida’s food safety regulations.”

sal s.

i make brownies with a minimal amount of cream cheese (just for texture) will this still be ok to sell? i also have a lot of cake/sweet bread recipes that have cream cheese/sour cream/yogurt in it (also for texture). these items are all shelf stable, will these be ok to sell?

    That should be fine, just as perishable eggs or milk can go into a batter and be okay once baked. Since you’re using such a small amount of cream cheese, it shouldn’t matter. In the case of yogurt, you’ll want to make sure it’s not increasing the moisture level too much.

    sal s.

    What about doughnuts.? I didn’t see that item on the list. I would assume that it would be ok as well.

    Maybe. Donuts are usually deep-fried, rather than baked. That is really one you’d want to ask the department about: 850-245-5520

Karen

Hello:
I have a question about the following “Cottage Food Legislation Frequently Asked Questions”

If I have a roadside stand which is already inspected and permitted can I also sell my cottage
food ? A permitted food establishment cannot sell foods from unapproved source. Since the safe
food handling practices are not being evaluated at your home, the cottage food is not considered an
approved source and cannot be sold at a permitted roadside stand.

So, if I can’t sell at a permitted roadside stand, in what type of roadside stand can I sell? Can you give me examples.
Also, can I advertise in my vehicle, and maybe park my car in the side of a street and sell my cookies?

Thank you

    Karen, are the food stands you’re referring to actually preparing food onsite, and that’s why they need to be inspected? Generally, I think the law is that you cannot be selling foods from food establishments, especially those that prepare foods and have eating areas onsite. I honestly have never heard of a roadside stand being considered a food establishment, but maybe some are in Florida. If you are the only one selling at the food stand, then you would not be selling concurrently with anyone and should be okay. You might still be fine even if inspected businesses are selling at the same food stand area… after all, farmers markets are okay and many different types of vendors sell there.
    The law is designed to allow you to make food at your home and then sell it face-to-face with customers. As long as you are following this, you should be fine in almost all cases.
    However, I really do not know if you can park just anywhere along the side of the street and start selling. You should call your planning division to determine which roads you are allowed to sell on.

Rose Accardi

I was wondering under the cottage law if you are allowed to advertise on the internet, I see you are not allowed to sell anything but can I put up a website and show what I am selling and have a phone number as a contact?

Nicole Russo

I would like to sell organic juices on the side of the road similar to a lemonade stand in Tampa, Florida. Any ideas on how to get started with the legal stuff?

Thanks ahead of time for any help!

Iris

I just encountered this page and found the questions and comments very helpful; however, I am still confused with the following. If no license is required for a cottage food operation in Florida, why is it that the city of Miami does not allow selling cakes cooked at home under the FL Cottage Food. I contacted the pertinent departments and the answer was a definite “NO”. This seems unfair to me, but would like to understand.

    It is possible that they can prevent you from operating, but it is also very possible that they are not familiar with the law. This has been an issue in other states, where certain counties’ health departments don’t agree with the laws, and therefore disallow their citizens from operating under the new law. Some states have even rewritten their laws to prevent counties from being able to do that, and now many states put a clause in the law right from the outset.

    However, I skimmed Florida’s law, and it doesn’t look like there is the necessary protection in it to prevent counties from overruling the law. But if I were you, I would call up the state ag department and ask them about it. It is a state law… counties really shouldn’t be preventing citizens from using it, especially since you don’t even need a license.

    Iris

    David, thank you for your response. I have found much contradicting information. In trying to comply with the law, and to avoid any possible complaints from customers I found I need to file for an LLC to start a home baking business. When I contacted the county to be certain if I would need anything else, the supervisor informed me that Miami Dade County only allows home offices, no baking or other foods for sale from a home kitchen, even after I mentioned the Florida Cottage Food Law to this person. I called the Dept. of Agriculture to obtain clarification and they said they have no jurisdiction over county or municipalities who may have their own regulations so I am still confused. Thank you again for your time and consideration.

    That is too bad. Unfortunately it sounds like your county does know about the law, and they are not in agreement with it. Hopefully, someday Florida will pass an amendment that prevents counties from doing that.

    If your county required you to get a business license, it should not have to be an LLC. A regular business license could be filed as a sole proprietorship, for instance, but an LLC can better help protect your assets. But it sounds like that’s a mute point, since they don’t allow a cottage food business at all.

    Wouldn’t the state law trump the County Ordinance?

    It would, if the state law built in some language that said that counties are not allowed to override the law. Many states now have such language in their laws, because this has been a problem. Without that language, the county law supersedes the state, just as these state cottage food laws supersede the federal law that says that selling homemade food is not allowed.

    Jen

    State law does not override county ordinances, if the county says you cannot operate a cottage food in that area you cannot operate.

Gabriella

Hi David,
It’s nice that we have somebody who can answer to our questions. Thanks.
I’d like to sell microgreens, mostly sunflower greens and pea shoots. Uncut, still in the dirt. I’ll cut them when the costumer asks for it. Would this fall under the cottage law? Thanks.

Adam

Say I want to sell vegan ice cream, is that allowed?

Mayra

I want start my business bakery athome (custom cakes, decorated cookies ), what kind of ingredients should I avoid in the cake’s decoration ? Can I use butter or margarine?
Cream cheese?
Heavy whipped cream?
Canned fruit?
Do I need some special license for cottage food ?

Regards
Mayra

    Mayra, if it needs to be refrigerated once it’s made, then it would not be allowed as a cottage food. So cream cheese and whipped cream would not work, but usually buttercream frostings are okay. Cut fruit is also not allowed. You don’t need a special license to sell cottage food.

    Mayra

    Thank you so much for your help.

Brooke

I am interested in selling my confections to a local bar/music venue/food est. I understand this is not allowed under the cottage law but do you know how I can go about doing this legally?

    Brooke, if you were selling at one of those venues, and interacting directly with the end consumer, you would be able to operate under the cottage food law. But it sounds like you want to sell to the venue, and they would distribute your candy to the people there. In that case, you just need to get setup as a regular food business… please see Kurtis’ comment below.

David, I would like to thank you for your many great comments and willingness to offer help to those in need.

I have a couple questions myself. I am approaching an artisan bread buisness soon. My main sales will be at farmers markets in Florida with a little wholesale as well. I will be producing my bread in a warehouse production facility. I will be selling much over 15,000 yearly which excludes me from cottage law perameters.
Q1 > What licences/permits do I need to obtain, to support this buisness approach?
Q2 > Do I need to charge tax for my products at the farmers markets

I can’t thank you enough for your help and guidence
-Kurtis

    Kurtis, I have to be honest and say that I am really only familiar with the cottage food laws. There are probably many more resources online for becoming a regular food business, since that is the way most food businesses get started, but I haven’t looked into them. If I were you, I’d just call the Ag Department and ask them how to get started.
    Also, the farmers markets themselves might have some extra requirements, and the market managers might know some of the steps you need to take.

Kim R

I noticed dried fruits were allowed and I know fresh produce is also, what about candy/caramel apples? Thanks!

    Fresh, uncut produce may be sold, but fresh, cut produce would not be allowed as a cottage food. It is probable that you could sell a caramel apple, as long as you don’t cut the apple. However, placing a stick into an apple does seem pretty minimal, and the department might let you do that. You should call them: 850-245-5520

Luana

Comment: Good morning ,
My name is Luana and I would like to know if I can sell only fresh homemade pasta here in Miami . What I need to do ? I need a licence for this ?

Thank you for your attention .
Luana

    As long as you are only selling dry pasta, you should be fine. Per the requirements on this page, you don’t need a license from the Ag Department, but you may need a standard business license, if your city or county requires it. You can call your planning division to find out.

    Luana

    Hi David , I called my planning division in Doral and they said me the here is not permited . Why ??????? if this law is for all florida and I can not benefit ????
    Thank you

    Luana, I just responded to a similar comment above that should help answer that question.

Christopher Lambing

Several questions: 1.When making fruit preserves can I use liquors in them and be safe under cottage food regulations 2. If I am making Shrub vinegars with fruit and manufactured vinegars, bottled to sale is that also covered? 3. Lastly If I have access to a professional licensed kitchen to produce my goods to sale at market what do I need to do to document and properly license myself as a subleaser since they already are incorporated such as an affidavit?

    1. & 2. Call the Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection at 850-245-5520 for questions about products.
    3. You actually cannot produce your cottage foods from anything but your own home kitchen. That might seem strange, but that’s just the way it is. However, usually getting access to a commercial kitchen is the biggest hurdle for most food processors. If you want to make your products from one, I’d suggest you just move beyond the cottage food law and go for your full license.

Vickie W.

I would like to start selling rum cakes from my home. Would this be allowed under the cottage food laws for the state of florida?

    This is a borderline product. My guess is that you probably would be able to, but you should call the Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection at 850-245-5520 to check.

Amber

Hello, I live in Fort Myers, Fl and am looking to start a home based bakery. I understand what I am and am not aloud to sell but I want to be sure that selling from my home is OK? Or do I need to set up at a farmers market or bake sale? Thank you!

Kriss

I have a LLC business license and I sell sea salt scrub at markets. I would like to start selling lemonade at these shows. What type of license or certificates do i need to sell lemonade at festivals.

    This site focuses on cottage foods, and lemonade, or any prepared drink, is not a cottage food. See Rachel’s comment below about selling drinks.

Heather

I am interested in selling cupcakes in a “food truck” type vehicle, I would just use the vehicle to sell out of with a window or something, no baking involved in the vehicle. Is this considered a road side stand? Also could you sell bottle water or canned soda?

    As long as you are preparing the cupcakes in your home kitchen, you should be able to sell out of the food truck.
    Also, look below at Rachel’s comment for info about selling drinks.

Hello I am a Vender at the clearwater fresh food Market
I sell The Miracle Tree
Moringa , trees , seedings, fresh leaves, dried leaves , Loose and tea bags,
I make moringa cookies, I have made Moringa noodles, I was wondering if I can make
Moringa Pesto . Fresh Moringa ,Basil,parsley,oilive oil .
Please let me know .
P.S. If I bring a slow cooker add Moringa seed Pods and onions,can I sell a bowl of this to the consumers???? Moringa stir fry…

I have a dry chai recipe. Does it fall under the dry coffee because it is nearly the same?

Also what would I need to become a CFO besides special labeling. Is there anyone I need to contact?

    The law also allows spices, seasonings, and other dry mixes, so your chai should be fine. I don’t believe there is anyone you need to contact to get started. It’s pretty easy in Florida!

Rachel

I am wondering if I can sell drinks along with my baked goods? I will be selling my packaged baked goods out of my home, bake sale-style, during frequent events in my neighborhood. I was hoping to be able to provide drinks with them. Here are a couple drinks I was considering. Please let me know if any the following are applicable under the cottage law:

-fresh brewed coffee to-go (with a self-serve station with sugar and non-dairy single creamers)

-fresh brewed single-serve K-cup coffee with a Kuerig machine (with a self serve station with sugar and non-dairy single creamers)

-Tea: Provide a to-go cup with hot water and tea bag.

-Hot apple cider to-go. (Heated in my kitchen, then poured into to-go cups)

-single serve shelf-stable soy milk in paper “juice” boxes. (They’re shelf stable when you buy them, but I would chill them.)

-bottled drinks: water, soda

Thank you for any information!

    No drinks fall under the cottage food law. You could sell dry coffee, but you can’t prepare it for the customer. In general, if you are heating or cooling anything you made, then that would not be a cottage food. However, you could resell bottled water or other unopened, prepackaged store items… check with your county to see if you need a vendors license or seller’s permit to do that.

    Rachel

    Thank you! So would a K-cup fall into the dry coffee catergory? It’s a sealed cup of dry coffee. I would have a keurig available for people to pop it in and make their own cup of coffee.

    Yes, I’d say that if you wanted to make your own K-cup, you could do this under the cottage food law. But if you’re reselling a K-cup from the store, you’d still need to check into getting a seller’s permit.

    Rachel

    Thanks. I do have a vendor’s license so that’s all good. So it would be ok to resell a K-cup, then let them pop it into a keurig to make a cup of t0-go coffee? (i’d provide sugar packets and shelf-stable non dairy creamers.)

    I want to say yes — the buyer can do what they want with the item after they purchase it. But can you provide the machine for them to prepare their coffee? I honestly don’t know for sure. Maybe you could check with the department about that.

shay

can I make jallepeno jelly under the cottage food act?

    Sorry, jalapeño jelly is not allowed.

    Why can’t jalapeno jelly be allowed when it says jams and jellies are allowed. Shouldn’t it specify which jams and jellies are not allowed.

    You are right, the allowed foods section above could be more specific. I’ll put a note in there about that. It is really up to the department to decide what is allowed and what is not, and they have decided that certain types of preserves are not allowed (for instance, all vegetable-based jellies and preserves).
    Jalapeño jellies are not allowed in most states’ cottage food laws — I can’t remember exactly why, but it has something to do with the acidity and sugar level, probably.
    The jams and jellies that are allowed are most fruit-based ones, and even some low-sugar variants of those would not be allowed. Technically, I think a jalapeño is a fruit, but preserves based on it probably have the same characteristics and concerns as those made from vegetables. I hope that helps clarify things. If you need an official word on this, you could try calling the Ag Department… if they say it’s okay, then it is.

Brian Broxson

What about Hot Sauces and BBQ Sauces?…..If your preserving them and sealing them properly they can be stored at room temperture.

    Unfortunately these are not allowed. The department actually specifically lists them as not allowed.
    You are right that they can be made safely, if done properly. I think the concern is that if they are not made properly, the consequences could be severe, so they don’t allow them in this cottage food law, since no training or education is required for cottage food operators.

LAINIE LEWIS

Looking forward in getting involved in my new Italian Cookie Business. Thank you for all your insight.

Good evening,
I am currently practicing under the cottage law. I have not applied for my LLC but intend to. I see here that I am able to participate in Farmer’s Markets and Food Stands. I have tried to attend a large farmer’s market in Tampa, FL previously, however, was told that I should be licensed and insured. My question is, though the cottage law does not require any application process or license, is there any way I can “prove” that I am practicing under this law? Also, as far as liability insurance goes, am I subject to this obligation, based on the wants of the farmers market?

I am also interested in selling my items at a flea market. Will a food vendors license be necessary? Or is this again, dependent on the flea market’s regulations?

I appreciate any feedback. Thanks so much!!

    Farmers and flea markets are allowed to require whatever they want to, so they have the right to turn you away, even if you did have proof that you are a practicing cottage food operation. Unfortunately, this actually happens a lot, especially at busy farmers markets that don’t need new vendors.

    You do not need to get insurance (though some operations opt for it anyway, for their own protection), but the markets can require you to have it (and I think that is pretty common).

    Since there are no license requirements for a CFO, I don’t know if you can prove that you are following the law. I suppose that your county may have required you to get a business license and/or a seller’s permit, so those could be some kind of proof that you are an operating business. It’s quite possible that the lack of regulations is what causes many markets to turn away CFOs.

    Thanks so much for your response. I will definitely heed the warning and look into the insurance along with registration for my license. I appreciate all of your advice/feedback!

carmen ramiz

How does one file for taxes with a cottage food business?

What about kombucha or water kefir~ bottled and sealed?

    It’s probable that you can’t produce those, but you should contact the Ag Dept at 850-245-5520 and ask. These products can be made safely (and thereby would be allowed), but from what I’ve seen, the concern is that it’s easy to make it in an unsafe manner if you don’t know what you’re doing. So at least for other states, they’ve disallowed it because of the high risk potential, and they require you to be a commercial food processor to ensure that you do know what you’re doing. I hope they say yes though, and please let us know if they do!

Curious

Please define preserves? Can it be veggie preserved?

    The Ag Dept allows “jams, jellies, and preserves”, but not “canned fruits and vegetables”. They also say, “Cooked vegetables, whether fresh or canned, usually are made from a combination of low acid and acidified foods, and are considered a Potentially Hazardous Food… They can’t be stored at room temperature, which makes them ineligible for production in a cottage food operation.”
    I’m not sure if I can definitely answer your question, but hopefully the above will help guide you.

Scott

At the bottom of the Allowed Foods section it says that “Most items that are classified as non-potentially hazardous are allowed.” Is this in addition to the items specifically listed? I’m curious if ice cream is allowed. Thanks.

    Yes, it is in addition to the items listed, but ice cream is not a non-potentially hazardous food. For the most part, to be non-potentially hazardous it needs to be shelf-stable at room temperature. Refrigerated or heated items are not non-PHFs. The actual rules that determine a non-PHF deal with its pH and water activity levels.

If two people live at the same address, could they be still sell Cottage Foods separate? So both of them can earn up to $15000 gross sales separate? Or would the $15000 max gross sale applies for one address?

    Typically, there can only be one cottage food operation per home/kitchen. You could try calling up the Ag Dept to see if Florida is an exception.

I am curious about what software people are using or any other method for creating the labels, rather than typing it from scratch each time. I will be dealing with cakes and sugar decor, there will be no nutritional claims. Some of my recipes: ingredients, allergens, etc. would be used regularly, so a label that is auto – generated based on a certain type of cake, icing, fondant, gum paste / sugar flower or other sugar decor, would be nice. I prefer not to get pricey software that seems to mainly cover nutritional info when I wont be dealing with it. Thanks in advance! – Julie

    Julie, what I’ve seen is that most people use Microsoft Word. I agree that there should be a better solution than that, but I haven’t seen it yet.

    Joanne H

    Check out cakeboss.com, it is a software program that is specifically designed for cake/bakery business. And yes, it does print ingredient labels and a whole lot more!

I am thinking of picking, drying and roasting Yaupon Holly leaves that can be made into a tea. Yaupon is not technically a herb or a coffee or tea but it can be made into a caffeinated hot beverage much like a tea. Basically, it is a north american mate much like herba mate they are both a holly leaf. Since it has no food safety issues can I sell on a road side stand as a cottage food? If it does fall under the cottage industry can I GIVE free taste samples of liquid tea since most have no idea what yaupon tastes like. Any help would be appreciated.

    It does sound like selling the tea would be fine under the cottage food law, but you would not be able to give out free samples of the drink. Giving samples of your product is fine, but you can only give the actual product. This might be a borderline case — and I’m not really sure if this would be legal — where you might be able to give out small samples of the tea and have hot water and cups on-hand, so buyers could essentially make their own samples. You should ask the Ag Department about that one.

Do you need any type of business license? Like a LLC or sole proprietorship of any type? I am in the beginning stages of looking to start my home bakery. So any information or links would be helpful! :)

    It’s quite likely that you need a business license, especially if you’re going to sell at a farmers market. Since you get your business license through your city or county, there may be different requirements for various locations in Florida. You should call up the ag dept and ask them, and I’d be interested to know what the response is.

    If you do need one, then most just go with a sole-proprietorship. Some have formed an LLC to protect their personal assets, and this may be something you’d want to consider whether or not you’re required to get a license. However, if most of your sales are to people that you have a personal connection with, then it’s less likely that you’ll need an LLC.

Verlina Keener

I make pumpkin bread with two ingredients-Pumpkin and spice cake mix. Would I list every ingredient that is on the cake mix box or can I just list the main ingredients . For example can I list wheat flour, sugar,vegetable oil shortening,leavening,etc or do you list the chemical make up of everything. Thanks

    You should list all of the sub-ingredients as well… so every ingredient on the box. The sample label above shows you what is appropriate in terms of specificity… you don’t need to list the chemical composition of sugar or anything like that. If you’re unsure about a particular ingredient, just try to find it on some commercial product label and see how they do it.

    Heather

    Thanks for asking this question I need to know the answer for this

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