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Starting a Homebased Food Business on a Sweet Note

Make sure to follow state regulations when selling

This story appears in the May 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: I'd like to start a homebased business selling homemade candy. How do I find out what regulations I have to follow?

Name withheld

A: The idea of turning your recipes into a source of income right from your kitchen appeals to many people. To sell your candy, check your state's laws and regulations, because what you are permitted to do in a home kitchen varies from state to state. You may find these regulations on your state's Web site, or you may find contact information for the pertinent agency. Some states bar the commercial sale of food prepared in a residential kitchen. Others distinguish between perishable and nonperishable food. Still other states allow food prepared in a home kitchen if gross sales are under a specified dollar amount. Some states distinguish between food that is sold retail and food that is sold wholesale.

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