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South Carolina

South Carolina’s cottage food laws are very basic and are intended to get someone started before opening a full-scale commercial operation. They only allow operators to make baked goods and candy, which is more restrictive than most other states. However, the main limitation is that they only allow $15,000 of sales per year. Sales must be made directly to the consumer, so while selling to retail stores or restaurants is prohibited, most other venues are permitted.

Although there is no license for cottage food operations, all home-based food businesses in South Carolina must get a business license for tax purposes. In addition, certain products may require lab analysis. All in all, the process to get setup with these laws is quite minimal.

Selling

Allowed Foods

Only “candy and baked goods that are not potentially hazardous foods” are allowed. Moist breads like zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread may not be allowed. Candy-coated nuts, dried fruits, and caramel corn are all considered “candy”. Here’s some more detailed info about allowed foods.

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies (see Business section).

You can sell under 400 gallons of honey directly to the consumer by applying for an exemption.

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations

Sales are limited to $15,000 per year

Business

State business license

While there is no license specific to the cottage food laws, each operation must be licensed as a business by the state for tax purposes, which costs $50. The code for this license is 445291. Operators must file taxes every month (even if they make no sales).

Product Analysis

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies and moist quick breads. More information about product analysis can be found at the bottom of the first page of the application.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"NOT FOR RESALE – PROCESSED AND PREPARED BY A HOME-BASED FOOD PRODUCTION OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO SOUTH CAROLINA'S FOOD SAFETY REGULATIONS"


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, SC 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)


More labeling info can be found in the Cottage Foods Labeling Guidance document.

Workplace

Ingredients for the business must be kept separate from those for personal use.

Resources

Contacts

Food Protection Division

Department
Department of Health and Environmental Control
Telephone
803-896-0640
Law Dates
June 2012
H4689
This page was last updated on

Comments

Hi I would like to make an etsy shop that sells baked goods. I checked here and it says that online is prohibited, does that apply to a website like etsy?

I wanted to know if a food such as hash would be allowed to sale under this law? if say, wanted to sale it by the quarts

Hi David. I see that South Carolina cottage law is intended to make it easier for people to get started with the objective being to eventually open a commercial operation. So….what if I have no intention of doing so? I hope to do this as a home business for the long term. Are they going to shut me down after a certain time or something?

    I am not aware of an exemption like that. Where are you getting that info from? To my knowledge, even if you were to sell only one item, you would need to follow these rules.

I mix my own teas from ingredients I buy (like the base teas) or make myself (like dried fruits and herbs). I would like to start selling these, preferably on a site like Etsy, but I’m unclear as to the regulations since teas are not technically foods but rather spices in a sense.

In regards to online sales, I thought they were allowed within the state at one time, but online sales are not allowed at all. However, you can set up a web site or facebook page for the business with a phone number to call to place the order for pickup or delivery.

    Here is a link to a new document put together by DHEC that shows situations where food permits are not required, including home bakers. Please follow the link to read the entire document. I am not listing everything here. http://www.scdhec.gov/library/CR-011506.pdf

    Regulation 61–25: Retail Food Establishments
    http://www.scdhec.gov/food

    Businesses that Only Serve:

    Popcorn, cotton candy or candy apples
    Shaved ice products
    Coffee based beverages served with pasteurized dairy products
    General beverages
    Beverages prepared upon request from commercially pre-packaged powdered mix, prepared without a blender and served in single service cup
    Nachos with cheese product
    Commercially dehydrated pre-packaged pork skins
    Pre-formed or prepared pretzels
    Commercially pre-packaged, pre-cut frozen fries
    Boiled peanuts or boiled/grilled corn
    Shaved ice products served with pasteurized milk

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