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cottage food community

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. Only operators that sell their food at external locations like farmers markets must apply for an exemption from getting their home inspected, so all in all, the process to get setup with these laws is quite minimal.

Selling

Custom-order baked goods, like wedding cakes, may only be sold from home (delivery of the item is also allowed).

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 popcorn are all considered “candy”. Here’s some more detailed info about allowed foods.

To see if your product is allowed, call Kimberly Baker at 864-376-4031.

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

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).

Operators that sell from anywhere other than from their home (farmers markets, road stands, etc.) must apply for an exemption from inspection and labeling.

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)


Workplace

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

Resources

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Comments

    I have not heard of any age requirements imposed by the state. It’s possible that the market would impose a minimum age requirement for vendors.

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