With more than half the states having signed legislation for Cottage Food Laws, several states with Restricted Home Food Processing, a couple of states with Pending Legislation and a few states with Cottage-Food-Law Petitions, there are only a few states remaining with no Cottage Food Laws or any type of home-baking allowances.
Sounds like we’re making great progress! We’re getting there! Or, are we? With any new product, service or – in this case – new law the most important opinions come from the people who will ultimately make use of the product, service or legislation. When it comes to the new Cottage Food Laws, what’s your opinion thus far? Are you happy with your state’s law? When you consider that not all Cottage Food Laws are created equal, the likelihood is great that we will get some of the things we want and others we would rather not have.
Judging from chatter and comments, the overall least favorite regulations seem to be:
a) The annual cap on gross income. Some states limit annual gross sales to $5,000.
b) Local sales person-to-person only. No sales via the internet, no sales outside of the state and no sales to any person or company (like restaurants, cafés, coffee shops) that will resell the products.
These two regulations can be very tough on new business owners who are trying to grow the business and expand their market.
So, how is your state’s Cottage Food Law working for you? Has the qualifying process been easy or difficult? Is it easy or difficult to find the proper authority for answers to your questions? Has it been necessary to make a change in your original product line in order to comply with the “non-potentially hazardous foods” regulation? Are you finding it easy or difficult to work with the rules and regulations? Do you envision your home baking business as the perfect launch-pad to a much bigger operation?
Get a copy of your state’s Cottage Food Law, give it a thorough read (maybe more than once for clarity), ask questions when you’re confused or not clear, staying within the guidelines decide what’s best for you, create a good plan and work that plan to the best of your ability. Whatever your decisions, don’t forget to have FUN and ENJOY your business.