If you are a passionate baker, turning your delicious creations into a business venture is a dream come true. However, before you embark on your journey of selling home-baked goods in Arizona, it’s crucial to understand the legal steps and requirements involved.
I decided to start offering cookie decorating classes at our craft studio in Scottsdale Arizona, so I did some research to determine what legal steps I needed to take in order to bake cookies at my home, so that they could be used for decorating at our studio.
Having done all the research, I thought I would pass along what I learned so that others looking to sell their home-baked goods in Arizona, would have a quick and easy resource.
While l will outline the necessary processes to ensure your baking business complies with Arizona’s regulations, please note, this should not be construed as legal advice. Throughout the post, I am providing links to relevant regulations on the Arizona Dept. of Health website, so that you can see their most up to date information.
Step 1: Familiarize Yourself with Arizona Cottage Food Laws
In Arizona, the sale of home-baked goods falls under the Cottage Food Laws, which allow individuals to prepare certain low-risk food products in their home kitchens for sale to the public. These laws are designed to support small-scale food entrepreneurs while maintaining public health and safety standards.
Step 2: Determine Eligibility of your Home-Baked Goods
Before proceeding, confirm that your baked goods qualify as cottage food products. In Arizona, eligible products typically include non-potentially hazardous items such as cookies, cakes, bread, pastries, jams, jellies, and dried herbs. However, perishable items like custards, cream-filled pastries and items requiring refrigeration are generally excluded.
Since a lot of baked goods use frosting or icing, make sure to check out their specific guidance as it relates to frosting and icing. I had originally planned on using Royal Icing for our cookie decorating classes, but Royal Icing contains egg whites and the use of egg whites in icing is prohibited by the AZ DHS. So, I found an alternative recipe, which some people refer to as eggless Royal Icing. If you’re interested in the recipe, you can check it out in my Eggless Royal Icing Recipe post.
Step 3: Obtain Required Permits and Licenses
While Arizona’s Cottage Food Laws make it easier to start a home-based baking business, there are still some permits and licenses you’ll need to acquire. The most important ones include:
Food Handler’s Card
You can take the food handler training course online. After taking the course, there’s an online exam. You need a 70% or higher to pass and you can take it up to 3 times. While I didn’t think to time myself, I want to say the course and exam took me around 3 hours. The fee was $7 and my Food Handler Card is good for 3 years.
Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT) License
Since you’ll be selling taxable products, you must register for a TPT License from the Arizona Department of Revenue. This allows you to collect and remit sales tax on your sales.
Home Business License
Depending on the local regulations of your city or county, you may need to acquire a home business license or a home occupation permit. Contact your local government offices to determine the specific requirements in your area.
In addition to insurance for your business, you may also want to contact your insurance company to determine the impact (if any) of a home-based business on homeowner’s liability.
Step 4: Comply with Labeling Requirements
Properly labeling your home-baked goods is crucial to provide transparency to customers and meet legal obligations. Ensure your labels include the following information:
- The name and registration number of the food preparer
- A list of all the ingredients in the product
- The product’s production date
- The following statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that may process common food allergens and is not subject to public health inspection.”
- If applicable, a statement that the product was made in a facility for individuals with developmental disabilities.
Step 5: Understand Selling Restrictions for Home-Baked Goods
Under Arizona’s Cottage Food Laws, you can sell your homemade products directly to the consumer. However, there are certain selling restrictions you need to be aware of. For instance, you cannot sell your goods across state lines. Review the FAQ section on the AZDHS website for more info.
Starting a home-based baking business in Arizona can be an exciting and rewarding venture. By understanding and following the steps outlined above, you can help ensure your business operates within the boundaries of Arizona’s Cottage Food Laws.
Remember to stay compliant with permits, licenses, labeling requirements and selling restrictions while prioritizing food safety practices. With dedication and adherence to the regulations, you can turn your passion for baking into a thriving enterprise. Best of luck selling your home-baked goods!
Author: Nicole Bolin
Check out our favorite sugar cookie recipe for making cut out shapes!
Need an Eggless Royal Icing recipe? We’ve got you covered!