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Florida

Florida passed an amendment (HB 1233) to their cottage food law in 2017, which allowed internet sales and raised the sales limit to $50,000. Florida now has a very good cottage food law, especially considering that it is very easy for a producer to start selling: no license, inspection, or training from the ag department is required. Producers may only sell directly to consumers — no wholesale or mail order sales are allowed. You can find updates about recent efforts on the Facebook page.

Selling

Although you can sell your products online, they must be delivered or picked up in-person.

You can deliver your products “directly to the consumer or to a specific event venue”.

Cottage food products cannot be sold along with non-cottage food items. For instance, if you have a permit to sell shaved ice at an event, you cannot also sell your cottage food products. Also, if you own a retail store, you cannot sell your cottage food products from the store.

Allowed Foods

Only fruit-based jams, jellies, and butters are allowed. If you have a question about a product, you can call the Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection at 850-245-5520.

Homegrown produce can be used in your products, but home canned products cannot be used as an ingredient in your cottage food items. If you want to preserve homegrown produce for use at a later date, you can freeze it.

Honey is only allowed if you harvest and package the honey yourself.

There is an exemption for selling cooked (parched, roasted, or boiled) legumes (like boiled peanuts), boiled sugar cane, and sorghum syrup. Selling these items neither falls under the cottage food law nor requires a permit from the health department, but preparation of these items may still be done in a home kitchen within the state.

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 $50,000 per year

You can only use the kitchen in your primary residence. No other kitchen (including a kitchen in your garage or an outbuilding on your property) may be used.

Business

Although you don’t need a license from the Ag Department to get started, you may need to get a business license, if your city or county requires it. You can call your planning division to find out if any zoning requirements apply to you.

Some people have reported that Miami-Dade County does not allow cottage food operations at all, but you should confirm with their ag department. Other counties or cities may have similar restrictions.

Here is some info about collecting sales tax in Florida.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida's food safety regulations" (10-point type)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, FL 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)


If any nutritional claims are made, the federal labeling requirements for nutrition info must be followed.

Workplace

The producer’s kitchen can only have one stove and oven (or double oven).

Ingredients and cottage food products can be stored in any sanitary location in your home, but you cannot store them in your garage or another building on your property.

Resources

Contacts
Department
Division of Food Safety, Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection
Email
[email protected]
Telephone
850-245-5520
Law Dates
July 2011
HB 7209
July 2017
HB 1233

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Comments

I assume the sale of bone broth (like chicken stock) requires a license. Where do I find the regulations and more info on what license to obtain and how/where to do so? Thank you :)

    You need to work out of a Commercial Kitchen to make Bone Broth. You also will need to speak with the Department of Agriculture to get licensed in that particular (one only) kitchen. You cannot make Bone Broth AT HOME under the Cottage Food Law.

Good morning, I am considering to start a catering service from my home, would I fall under the cottage law and will I still need to have a business license? Thank you

    Hi Rhonda – You can NOT operate a Catering Service from YOUR HOME. It’s a big no-no. You need to work out of a Commercial Kitchen that is Licensed and Inspected regularly by the State. You personally also have to be licensed by the State. The good news is it’s fairly easy to find a Commercial Kitchen AND easy to get licensed. Once licensed though, you have all kinds of options to do stuff: Farmer’s Markets, Food Truck, Fairs, Catering, etc!

Can a Cottage Food maker apply for a Florida Tax Exemption Certificate for the products purchased in conjunction with Cottage Food sales?

    Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), under the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Micro-greens are “covered” by the FSMA Produce Safety Rule. There are exemptions: if you are selling <$25,000 per year of produce, you are exempt. If you are selling up to $500,000 per year directly to “qualified end users,” which includes grocery stores and restaurants, you have a partial exemption.

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