Comply With Regulations Before Selling Home-Made Food Products Online

Comply With Regulations Before Selling Home-Made Food Products Online

Food handling regulations ensure the safety of consumers. Make sure your home-made food product is in compliance before making your first sale.

Last updated: July 30, 2016

Question from HBT reader: What kind of license/health inspections etc. do you think would be involved in selling a home made food product from a web site?


Before starting a home business selling food products must investigate and comply with regulations on the local level, as well as state and federal mandates.

The Food and Drug Administration is the federal regulatory body who sets national guidelines. More information can be found in this guide provided by the FDA for home-based food businesses.

You’ll need to check with the regulatory agency in your state for requirements in food safety, sanitation, and handling. State governments vary as to what products may or may not be prepared and sold from home. For instance, canned goods are often prohibited. Many states require a food permit, and inspections from your local health department are to be expected. You may find that a commercial kitchen, or at the very least, a separate kitchen is required for home prepared foods.

You’ll also want to make sure you are in compliance with local zoning and licensing laws. Your county and city clerks are a good place to start. And of course, legal considerations such as registering your business name, registering a trademark, obtaining a sales tax certificate, getting adequate insurance coverage, should all be attended to before opening for business.

Brett Krkosska provides how-to advice on small business and home-based work issues. He is the founder of HomeBizTools and the publisher of Straight Talk, a syndicated column that offers a unique perspective on today’s business issues.

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