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Please someone help me with laws :(

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So I am incredibly upset with my ignorance. I started dabbling in cake decorating about 3 years ago but have just started taking off this past year and was really beginning to feel confident. I have even been asked to do a wedding cake! So I was on here browsing and came across information about copyright laws. Well all my best and most recent cakes have been characters! Spiderman, Angry Birds, Yo Gabba Gabba. So you can imagine me, not having known about these laws, feeling so terribly discouraged. I removed them all from my FB cakes album and more than half my cakes are gone from my "portfolio" and I pretty much have to start over, right when I was feeling like I could take the next step. I have a Power Rangers cake coming up in January so I have to make sure I do it right and lawfully. I do not have a business license yet so I have not been charging anyone but it is something I know I need to look into ASAP especially if I am to do a wedding cake and charge for it. Please, is there anything else I need to be careful of? I don't want to get in trouble and I really want to do this forever so I need to get going right icon_sad.gif
post #2 of 20

yes, getting a license is the first step. Also look into liability insurance.

 

For character cakes from now on, maybe you could create the backdrop and have the customer add their own toy figures? I've seen many businesses post on their FB pics that "character toys were added by client". This way, the cake could still be in your portfolio and you'll not be taking any risk.

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
So if I buy the toy I cannot put it on the cake? I have been confused by that..
Quote:
Originally Posted by fcakes View Post

yes, getting a license is the first step. Also look into liability insurance.

For character cakes from now on, maybe you could create the backdrop and have the customer add their own toy figures? I've seen many businesses post on their FB pics that "character toys were added by client". This way, the cake could still be in your portfolio and you'll not be taking any risk.
post #4 of 20

Yes, you can put the figures on yourself. By buying the toys, you are buying the right to use them. It doesn't matter who puts them on the cake. Just include the cost of the toys in the price of the cake. It is the cakes with figures and emblems, etc., made by the cake maker that are copyright infringement.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

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There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #5 of 20

You didn't say where you are located?  I, too, started to bake cakes and then found out that I could not do them legally in my state.  So, we built a commercial kitchen on our property and now I am licensed, permitted and insured. 

Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
Reply
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter View Post

Yes, you can put the figures on yourself. By buying the toys, you are buying the right to use them. It doesn't matter who puts them on the cake.
This.

Don't forget to include your markup (to cover overhead) when you charge your customer for the cost of the figures.
post #7 of 20
There are several different legal areas where you should be compliant:
- Health dept (some states allow home baking businesses, others require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen)
- Copyright law
- Business license (usually with your city)
- Zoning (city)
- HOA regulations (if any)
- Fictitious business name (county)
- Liability insurance (usually not legally required but still a necessity)
- Sales tax
- Income tax
- Business structure (if you want an LLC)
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
I am in SC. I am waiting on a call back from someone at the health department as we speak. I believe I read 6 years ago the law was that yes, you did have to use a commercial kitchen, but my fingers are crossed that that has changed since 2006. Probably not considering my luck. I don't know what I'll do if I can't bake in my home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12 View Post

You didn't say where you are located?  I, too, started to bake cakes and then found out that I could not do them legally in my state.  So, we built a commercial kitchen on our property and now I am licensed, permitted and insured. 
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
Wow....I've got a long way to go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

There are several different legal areas where you should be compliant:
- Health dept (some states allow home baking businesses, others require a licensed and inspected commercial kitchen)
- Copyright law
- Business license (usually with your city)
- Zoning (city)
- HOA regulations (if any)
- Fictitious business name (county)
- Liability insurance (usually not legally required but still a necessity)
- Sales tax
- Income tax
- Business structure (if you want an LLC)
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
So, just got off the phone with DHEC and SC does have a cottage law! Just put in place this past June. Yay me! I'm excited now and feeling a bit better. So going to do my research on that now icon_smile.gif
post #11 of 20

SRKstrickland, Where are you at in SC? I  live in Charleston. SC.  Just wondering if you are near me.  Good luck to you in your business.  I am sure you will do just fine!!! I enjoy dabbling in cakes but I only do it for fun.  I don't think I would ever want to make a business out of it. I am retired and only do it for a couple of kids and a few family members.

/ Mary
 

post #12 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi Mary icon_smile.gif I'm in Columbia. Love Charleston, very beautiful area. Thank you so much for the luck. I don't want to rush it, just want to make sure I'm doing it lawfully at this point. I would love to have a store front in the next 5-10 years. Still need lots of practice icon_smile.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by remnant3333 View Post

SRKstrickland, Where are you at in SC? I  live in Charleston. SC.  Just wondering if you are near me.  Good luck to you in your business.  I am sure you will do just fine!!! I enjoy dabbling in cakes but I only do it for fun.  I don't think I would ever want to make a business out of it. I am retired and only do it for a couple of kids and a few family members.
/ Mary

 
post #13 of 20
I am in Charleston! There is a cottage food law fb page for those of us in SC. Lots of useful info there! Also, we have a great ICES group here in te Lowcountry.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #14 of 20

Is the Ices group for just businesses? I vaguely remember one being held at Trident College on Rivers Avenue one year. When is the next Ices going to be held? I know there is a fee but not sure if it is for just business owners or can anybody who does caking as a hobby go?

Thanks/Mary
 

post #15 of 20

Just to get back to the original post for a moment.  Even if you are in a Cottage Food Act state or one that requires a license it is still against the Copyright Law to recreate a licensed character.  For instance, if someone were to make a Mickey Mouse hat in green it still has all the features of a Mickey Mouse hat/ears. This is not legal as it is still recognizable as Mickey ears.  It is best to do the set up like others have suggested and then put purchased characters on the cake.  No sense taking a chance on getting fined for infringement.

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

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Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

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