How to get a permit to sell food from home? Here's how to get one and some of what you need to know before starting your food business.

How To Get A Permit to Sell Food From Home

Are you a passionate home cook with a few recipes up your sleeve that always get compliments? Maybe you’re the star during Christmas with all of the scrumptious goodies you make for friends and family. Or, maybe you’ve recently started dabbling in the world of baking and have found a true passion for it. Whatever the case, you’ve probably thought about how great it would be to turn your culinary skills into a money-making side hustle. But before you can start selling your food products, there are a few things you need to know, such as obtaining a permit to sell food from home. Some states in the U.S. require a permit or license to sell food made in your home kitchen, but the requirements vary greatly from State to State. 

In this article, we will cover how to get a permit to sell food from home and some of the things you need to consider before starting your own food business. We’ll also provide tips on making your food business stand out in a competitive market.

Requirements To Get a Permit and Start Selling Food From Home

Before you start selling food from the comforts of your home, depending on which State you’re living in, you may need to obtain a business license and a food handler’s permit. But, again, this may not be necessary, depending on your state laws.

Business License or Permit

Many U.S. states require you to get a general business license to operate your business, which requires you to fill out general information such as contact information and business address. Keep track of your sales even if you don’t need a business license in your State since all states require you to pay taxes. If you’re planning to take your sales online, getting a business license won’t be necessary for every State. You’ll only need a business license from your respective State.

Food Handlers’ Permit

You must get a food handlers’ permit before selling food from home. The requirements for this permit may vary depending on your State and county, but you will likely need to take a food safety course. The course will teach you how to handle and safely prepare food to avoid food poisoning. After you pass the course, you will receive a certificate that allows you to sell food products.

Follow Local Cottage Food Laws

The next step is to research your State’s cottage food laws. Cottage food laws allow people to sell certain foods made in their homes without having to get a commercial kitchen or license. Each State has different laws, but some of the most common foods sold under cottage food laws include baked goods, jams and jellies, honey, and some candies.

Examples of States & Their Business Permit Requirements

To give you some perspective, here are a few examples of States and their business license requirements to sell food from home.

New York

  • The Empire State requires aspiring food entrepreneurs to register their business name, especially if they plan to do business under another name other than their legal name. 
  • Tax registration with the Tax department is also a requirement. 
  • Check with local authorities to make sure you’re following local authority laws.

New Mexico

  • New Mexico doesn’t require you to register a DBA (Doing Business As) name.
  • Many local municipalities regulate the permits and licenses that are necessary. 
  • Register business with the Tax Department.

Texas

  • The Lone Star State is recognized as one of the best states to start a business in as the barrier of entry is relatively low.
  • A general business license is not necessary to start your operations. 

California

  • The Golden State requires food entrepreneurs to file for a DBA name and get a resale permit.
  • The State also requires entrepreneurs to run a four-week announcement of their DBA name in the local newspaper.
  • Check your local laws because the licenses required could change depending on your city or county.

How To Start Selling Once You Get a Permit

Once you knew how to get a permit to sell food and you’ve complied with all requirements and have obtained the correct permits, it’s time to start selling your food product from home. There are a few ways you can go about this:

Selling at Local Markets or Events

One of the most popular ways to sell food from home is by setting up a booth or stand at a local farmer’s market or food-related event. This is a great way to start because it doesn’t require a lot of start-up costs, and you can get customer feedback about your products.

Selling Online

Another option for selling home food is setting up an online store. You can create a website or use an existing platform such as Etsy. Selling online is a great option to reach a larger audience, but it requires additional start-up costs, such as web hosting fees and shipping supplies.

Handing Out Free Samples

One of the best ways to promote your food products is by handing out free samples. You can do this at local events or by leaving samples in businesses that allow it, such as coffee shops or boutiques. Free samples are a great way to get people interested in your product and can lead to increased sales down the road.

Creating a Marketing Plan

No matter how you plan to sell your food products, creating a marketing plan is important. This should include a description of your target market, an overview of your marketing strategy, and a budget. Your marketing plan will be instrumental in helping you reach your sales goals, so it’s important to take the time to create a well-thought-out plan.

Use ReliaBills to Bill Your Clients

If you plan on selling food products to businesses, it’s important to have a way to bill your clients. ReliaBills is the perfect solution for home-based food businesses as it allows you to create and send professional invoices from your computer or mobile device. With ReliaBills, you can get paid faster and focus on what you do best—making delicious food!

ReliaBills is an online invoicing and payment processing solution that provides you with all the necessary tools to set up and manage your home food business. With ReliaBills, you can create and send invoices, track payments, and manage your finances all in one place. 

If you’re doing business with recurring clients, you can create a recurring billing system to make billing and payments even easier. And if you need to accept credit card payments, ReliaBills can help with that too!

To learn more about how ReliaBills can help your home food business, visit our website or contact us today! Our base services are free, so go ahead and try it out! You can also upgrade to our premium service (ReliaBills PLUS) for additional features and support.

By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful food business from home. Just remember to research your State’s cottage food laws, obtain the necessary licenses and permits, and follow proper food safety guidelines. Then, with a little hard work and dedication, you can turn your passion for cooking into a thriving business.

Wrapping Up

Selling food from home can be a great way to make some extra money, but it’s important to research and ensure you are following all the necessary laws and regulations. With a little bit of planning, you can be on your way to selling delicious homemade treats in no time!

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