Photo Courtesy: SC Cottage Food Law
Signed into law on June 7th, 2012 the SC Cottage Food Law allows individuals to produce baked goods in their home for the purpose of selling their goods directly to consumers.
The Cottage Food Law lets those home bakers that make wonderful cookies, cakes and any assortment of baked goods sell their wares to others. However, the law does not allow for potentially harmful foods, such as, meats and or foods that need to be refrigerated to be sold by potential home bakers. Home bakers won't have to deal with DHEC inspections and will only get a visit by them if a complaint is made. Additionally, home bakers taking advantage of the Cottage Food Law have a $15,000 in gross sales cap on our income, so the law is designed to allow for supplemental income and help those build a small business.
SCCottageFoodLaw.com has some tips for home bakers regarding the new law:
...make sure where you live is zoned for a home occupation before you get your state business license. The ordinances will be different for each county, and are very important that you understand what your county requires. For example, some areas require a county business license, or will not allow you to hire anyone who doesn't live in your home. You may be able to find this information out at this link
You must apply for an exemption from inspection and label review with the Department of Agriculture. It is a simple, fill out and mail in form, and there is no fee involved. The form can be found here.
You will be required to get a retail food business license from the South Carolina Department of Revenue, and to collect sales tax. The fee is $50. Sales tax returns must be made every month even if you have no sales, and they can easily be done online. If unsure about how to structure your business, you should contact your accountant to determine whether you should file as a Sole Proprietorship, or Limited Liability Corporation. Please read the Business Tax Guide put out by the Department of Revenue to learn about opening a business in South Carolina.
The SC Cottage Food folks have a Facebook page for fans of the movement and for news and information regarding the new law.