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CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Want to start a small hobby in home baked good business. Live

Customer Question

want to start a small hobby in home baked good business. Live in Michigan, and cottage food law restricts selling on the internet- which is the only way I'm interested in selling. Is there any way legally for me to do this? What licenses would I need ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,Thank you for using this forum, my name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you today.We get these questions often from individuals with a cottage food license that wish to sell their goods online.Unfortunately the cottage food licenses (in almost all states) prohibit the sale of foods baked or created under the CFO license to be sold online. As you are already aware, the MI State CFO is one of these states.There is no exception for online sales, and if you do engage in online sales, your CFO license is subject to revocation as well as potential fines or other penalties.If you have a commercial kitchen (which is going to cost you a fair amount of money - so you are going to have to look into investing a significant amount more money) where you lease or purchase a commercial kitchen, get a commercial kitchen license/health permit, and then sell your goods in a non-perishable manner. This kind of MDARD licensing is more complex and again more costly, but if you wish to sell online, that is how you would go about doing it. (Again the types of food and how you must package it are all highly regulated, but you can sell certain food products online in that way).
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
sorry I've been having trouble logging in. Anyway I am here now. I this is just a small hobby for me, and I don't want to spend a fortune on a commercial kitchen. So what would the penalty be if I just did it anyway and got caught? Curious because i see many people on sites like Etsy that sell home baked goods and clearly they don't have commercial licenses either....
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 1 year ago.
Dear Customer,My apologies, a client matter pulled me away.If you decided to sell your baked goods online in violation of the CFO restrictions you could lose your CFO license and be fined for doing so.Those individuals you see selling baked goods online are doing so in violation of health and safety code regulations, and they are risking enforcement action as well - even if they do not have CFO licenses themselves, but you having a license creates even greater risk for you.