Beginning Stage of Selling Cookies/Cakes - Startup Questions

Hi,

I am currently making cookies under the Maryland Food Cottage Law. I set up at the local Farmers Markets. Someone has arranged for me to cook in their commercial Kitchen. I have the baking part down but I am wondering about licenses, packaging and if the labels have to have all of the nutrition stuff on the back. Also, where do you sell your cookies if you don't have a store front??

 

Any advice or things that you did when you started your business?

Original Post

Congrats! My first bit of advice is that licensing and packaging (listing of ingredients) requirements are typically governed locally, and the rules can vary widely from place to place. You should check your local cottage food law, and with your local Department of Health and Chamber of Commerce, to understand the requirements in your area. Where you can sell (i.e., online, out of state, etc.) may very well be governed by local food law and how/where you are producing your product. So, again, the same sources should be able to guide you on those points.

If you would like to go from being the Cottage Food realm (which it sounds like you can because you're cooking out of a commercial kitchen), then I would contact you state to find out what business licenses you need and also contact your state department of agriculture so you can  become licenses to sell food products commercially (they will want to inspect your kitchen and watch you bale something to make sure you have the proper food handling procedures down). Also, you will (at least in FL) have to obtain your food manager's certificate, etc. Each state has their own requirements as far as labeling, so you would find out that info from the Dept of Agriculture (they may have this readily available online). First, before you are going to contact all of these places to find out the next step, be sure you have decided what type of business you plan on forming (i.e. LLC, SCorp, Corp, etc.) and have your tax i.d number, sales tax number readily available for them at the time you apply for the food licenses.
 
Hope that helps!
 
Originally Posted by shellf0969:

Hi,

I am currently making cookies under the Maryland Food Cottage Law. I set up at the local Farmers Markets. Someone has arranged for me to cook in their commercial Kitchen. I have the baking part down but I am wondering about licenses, packaging and if the labels have to have all of the nutrition stuff on the back. Also, where do you sell your cookies if you don't have a store front??

 

Any advice or things that you did when you started your business?

 

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RGCookie Me This ~ HeididonaharrisburgSusie0809
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