How to Sell Home Baked Goods in New York State

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New York state allows the sale of home baked goods to consumers, but places certain restrictions on what types of bakery items a home processor can produce and where those products can be sold in order to protect the general public. If you want to sell home baked goods in New York, you are limited to breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, brownies, fudge and double-crusted pies. Additionally, while you can sell your goodies at farmer's markets, farm stands, flea markets, craft fairs and similar venues, the home food processor's exemption from standard food processing regulations does not allow Internet sales. For this and other reasons, it is always a good idea to review the laws and regulations surrounding New York state home food processing carefully before beginning.

Develop the recipes for your baked goods, taking into consideration the storage, packaging and transport of your goodies for sale. Review the safety policies that New York has set forth for food processors and maintain compliance with the most basic procedures, such as handwashing, wearing hairnets while baking and keeping a clean kitchen.

Write a business plan that includes your methods of advertising, the name and structure of your business, and how and where you intend to sell your baked goods. Do some research and create a list of local or reasonably nearby locations or events where you can sell your goodies.

Contact your local county government and apply for a fictitious business name or Doing Business As (DBA) certificate, as well as a local business license and any required permits. Although the state of New York allows home food processing, your local county may require a health inspection before issuing you a license or food vendor's permit.

Set up an accounting structure and method for tracking expenses and sales. While the state of New York does not require sales tax to be paid on most kinds of food, including bakery goods, you will still need to file income taxes with the federal government on a regular basis. Thus, you must keep good records.

Begin contacting the organizers of the local venues you identified as places to sell your home baked goods to find out how to rent/purchase a booth at their event, if any special event permits are required, what types of products usually sell well at their events, and other information. Sign up to participate and sell your home baked goods at as many events/venues as possible, remembering to weigh how much it will cost you beforehand with your anticipated sales.

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