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Is it illegal to get cost reimb????

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 
I live in Florida and therefore can't bake from home. I've looked around online and can't find an answer...is it illegal to have customers only reimburse for the cost of supplies as long as my labor is free?? Any thoughts and opinions would be great!
Wherever you go, there you are...
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Wherever you go, there you are...
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post #2 of 66
This has been addressed many times.

It is illegal to receive any form of payment even if just enough to cover expenses.
"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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"who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?"
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post #3 of 66
You should call your local Health Department or Department of Agriculture to get the answer to your question.
post #4 of 66
Illegal is illegal. It is the same thing in my state. I cannot accept anything from anybody for making a cake. I would love to have a business....but it can never be in my home. And I am not in a place to set up a shop or rent space in a kitchen right now. Maybe someday.

As hard as it is to accept...I must follow the law. And certainly I don't like the consequences if I am discovered selling cakes illegally.

I wish that everyone would just follow the rules...
post #5 of 66
I am from NY and don't know the rules about home baking but my guess is that it is illegal. My question, is how do the Amish get away with it with no fines. Not only do they sell roadside here but right from their porches. I have constant even heat in my Electric oven and RUNNING water in my kitchen. What's up with that.
So many cakes, so little time!
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So many cakes, so little time!
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post #6 of 66
One of those things that's really dependent on your local HD. You said customers, which is a strange word to use... usually if someone is baking and being reimbursed for the ingredients it's just a friend or family member. Here, it's not legal to sell baked goods from a home. Very technically, you also can't be reimbursed for the ingredients. However, HD isn't searching out someone making a cake for grandma that grandma gave you ingredients or reimbursed ingredient cost for. They're after you if you start doing this on an ongoing basis, for friends of friends and so forth. Some people get very worked up on this topic... I don't sell my cakes, I don't do cakes other than for family and friends and I only let them reimburse me for EXACT ingredient costs (when it's not just a gift from me, which isn't often). I'd call your HD. In most cases, they tell you the full extent of the law, but if you ask if you can make your mom a cake and have her cover the ingredients, the answer is almost always, "Well, technically no, but we'd have no way of knowing that and that's between you and your mom."
post #7 of 66
@ tiggerjo Amish have running water and ovens too. They just use gas or generators. How they go about selling w/o a license.... thats another story.
post #8 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiggerjo

My question, is how do the Amish get away with it with no fines.


They don't.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-03-14-amish-food-safety_N.htm
post #9 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama2010

I live in Florida and therefore can't bake from home. I've looked around online and can't find an answer...is it illegal to have customers only reimburse for the cost of supplies as long as my labor is free?? Any thoughts and opinions would be great!



I don't see how being reimbursed for cost....penny for penny....is illegal. Does this standard only apply to food? I wonder.

This would make living in America extremely difficult. I couldn't babysit someone's child if they only paid me the amount of money it costs to make a peanut butter sandwich.

I couldn't fix someone's railing on a front porch if they only paid me for the screws it took.

It's puzzling...and troubling. What the heck kind of world would such a system create? ---oh wait. I think we see it on the news everyday.
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
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You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3GCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakemama2010

I live in Florida and therefore can't bake from home. I've looked around online and can't find an answer...is it illegal to have customers only reimburse for the cost of supplies as long as my labor is free?? Any thoughts and opinions would be great!



I don't see how being reimbursed for cost....penny for penny....is illegal. Does this standard only apply to food? I wonder.


The issue is accepting any form of compensation (cash, ingredients, and/or services) for food made in a kitchen that is not licensed. The compensation, even if it's only a penny, makes the transaction commercial, and licensing requirements kick in at that point. It has nothing to do with the amount of compensation.

Of course, in practice if you limit your commercial transactions to your close friends and family and you don't advertise, you are probably OK, since the health department wouldn't know what you were doing. Just remember that every time someone pays you for something they ingest, you are exposed to a huge amount of liability if something goes wrong (like the recent salmonella outbreak). If someone gets sick, you could potentially lose all your personal assets if you are not properly protected with an LLC and liability insurance.

Quote:
Quote:

What the heck kind of world would such a system create?


A world where people who sell food for mass consumption are held to a higher standard of safety than someone making dinner for their family at home. Sounds fair to me.
post #11 of 66
It goes back to the amount...making a cake for a friend or family member every now and then - not a problem. Doing it as a business with many customers - there is the problem.

Babysitting for a friend or neighbor - not a problem. Running an unlicensed day care center out of your home - there is a problem.

The rules are there for the protection of both the provider and the providee. I don't like it. I would LOVE to say YES to the all of the requests I have gotten this past year (I stopped counting at about 30) to make cakes/cupcakes for people. But I can't since I have to respect the law.

What if I had unknowingly used one of those eggs that was eventually recalled? And someone got sick? I am not licensed, I am not insured. I could lose everything - depending on the actions that are taken. Then, I feel awful that I made someone sick PLUS my life is in financial shambles.
post #12 of 66
Quote:
Quote:

The issue is accepting any form of compensation (cash, ingredients, and/or services) for food made in a kitchen that is not licensed. The compensation, even if it's only a penny, makes the transaction commercial, and licensing requirements kick in at that point.


This is not true everywhere, which is why the OP, and everyone in her situation, should call their local HD or Dept. of Ag to find out their local rules.
post #13 of 66
The babysitting example is a good illustration of how the liability issue is not limited to food. If you babysit for a friend as a favor and someone is injured, you should be covered under either your homeowners insurance policy or the friend's HOI policy, depending on where you were babysitting.

However, if you accept money in exchange for your babysitting services, you are NOT covered under homeowners insurance unless you have a rider that covers business activity. Most HOI policies specifically exclude claims relating to business activity.

Again, if you are babysitting commercially for someone you know well and you're not worried about being sued if something goes wrong, you are probably OK, but advertising your services and babysitting for strangers greatly increases your exposure to risk.
post #14 of 66
Here's the thing: Do we want the gov't stepping into our food supply....because if they had their way...they'd probably just treat every food particle with radiation.

There is an extreme to both sides. There are those who drop food on the floor, lick the beaters, then ice the cake. Then there are those who use high-quality local ingredients, sell farm-fresh foods, and even under the best of circumstances (because we live in an imperfect world) cannot 100% guarantee safety.

I don't want the gov't coming in, and controlling my food supply....irradiating all of it, or even dictating what **I** can buy under my own free will.

Once that happens, there will be no **scratch** baking--there will be no advantage to buying from *local* suppliers, there will be no foods that are **unprocessed**.

These laws give in to fear. Just like the recent egg recall---we can all count on the gov't stepping in...and pasteurizing to their heart's content. Even if it means pasteurizing with radiation or any method they choose.

There will always be risks with any food...from anywhere. How much regulation will we put up with...before the regulation itself is causing us to be unhealthy?
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
You don't HAVE a soul, you ARE a soul...you HAVE a body. C.S. Lewis
I'd rather see badly done cake than well done styrofoam.
Reply
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

Quote:
Quote:

The issue is accepting any form of compensation (cash, ingredients, and/or services) for food made in a kitchen that is not licensed. The compensation, even if it's only a penny, makes the transaction commercial, and licensing requirements kick in at that point.


This is not true everywhere, which is why the OP, and everyone in her situation, should call their local HD or Dept. of Ag to find out their local rules.


Good point...accepting compensation makes a transaction commercial by definition, but in some areas commercial transactions do not require licensing if the income is below a certain level.

Of course, the exposure to liability is still present for all income levels above $0.
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