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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 116704
Experience:  All corporate law, including non-profits and charitable fraternal organizations.
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Do I need a special permit to sell prepackaged loose-leaf

Customer Question

Do I need a special permit to sell prepackaged loose-leaf tea in Massachusetts? I already own a home-based business selling antiques and vintage wares, handmade bath products, and handmade gifts. I sell these products out of several co-op shops where I maintain spaces. I have a Tax ID number and sales tax exemption number for this purpose. I have heard mention of needing a wholesale license which costs around $500, and needing to take Safeserv classes as well. I am confused as this is unprocessed food that will not be served to the customer by me personally. They would purchase a prepackaged tin and prepare the tea at home.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

If you are not "cooking, preparing or serving food for immediate consumption on or off premises" then you do not need the safeserv qualification. If you are simply repackaging processed bulk product in your own containers for sale, it needs to be labeled if you are selling it already packaged in your store, but no special license needs to be obtained, because you are not preparing food, you are just repackaging from bulk. If you are going to sell it from bulk and package it in front of the customer, it does not need labeling, if you are selling it on the internet, it should, but does not have to be packaged for resale. If you are packaging it from bulk in your own package to sell at stores, then it needs to be labeled as to what it is. See: Labeling Requirements for Tea.