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Old 12-19-2007, 02:28 AM
Location: TEXAS!
37 posts, read 392,631 times
Reputation: 39


Does anyone have information or know where to get it from regarding a home-based business in TX? If I was to sell homebaked cookies, what would be the requirements? Does it vary from county to county? The only info I found is:

-Kitchen has to be separate in a separate building with no entrance directly to the house, can be a garage, as long as doors/windows are sealed.

-No advertising (signs) in front of the house or in ads with address showing

-No annoyance to neighbors (can't see/hear/smell it basically)

-If someone complains, you need to move to a commercial kitchen

If anyone knows more about this or even owns a such a business, I appreciate your input on this.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:41 AM
3,553 posts, read 6,515,463 times
Reputation: 2297
Not only will it vary by county but by city and even neighborhood. Many communities/subdivisions and neigborhoods have deed restrictions. If a neighbor found out what you were doing they could complain to the Homeowner's Association and get you shut down!

I realize that to many people that sounds unduly harsh, but there is a very sound reason for it. If the city doesn't shut you down today, under law they may very well lose their right in the future to shut down someone disassembling cars, butchering animals or doing any other noxious thing.

Not only that but if someone were to get sick from something you prepared your homeowner's insurance not only would not cover you, they would cancel your policy. If you plan to sell your wares through other retailers/restaurants of other businesses, I'm certain they will have some "supplier qualifications" that include liability insurance. I don't think an insurance company will sell a commercial policy to someone doing food preparation in a residential setting.

I had a friend in a situation similar to yours and she made friends with a local (small) restaurant and just contracted with the owner to "rent" the (kitchen) facility at the restaurant in some "off" hours. This ended up working out very well for both of them as each then had some other offerings for their customers.

This also alleviated a lot of the cost of acquiring commercial ovens storage racks etc.

Good luck.

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Old 12-19-2007, 08:51 AM
659 posts, read 2,273,899 times
Reputation: 383
Do you really want health inspectors coming into your home?

Anyway, it's better to keep work separate separate from your personal life, especially for liability purposes. In the food business, you risk someone getting sick or hurt from your products. Think about incorporating and creating an entity separate from you and your finances.
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Old 12-19-2007, 11:47 AM
Location: TEXAS!
37 posts, read 392,631 times
Reputation: 39
Default It's hard to believe nobody is doing this legally...

I've asked this on other boards before, food related boards, seems like everyone does it, but noboby does it "legally".
I understand the risk with the food, but I make custom made products that take hours and hours to make, well worth the time, but to go and share a kitchen and work on their off hours is out of the question as I'd probably have to pull the graveyard shift. On the other hand, if I rent a commercial kitchen to myself, I'd have to come up with the rent and that would put a lot of pressure on me to earn the rent first before earning any profits. The convinience of being able to do it at home would be so much better.
I was planning this as a sole proprietorship and I'm not sure how it works with insurance, but I'm aware that I'd have to get some sort of liability insurance and that my homeowners insurance wouldn't cover this. I know of other states where this is possible even out of your regular kitchen, it just has to be certified annually. I know that in TX you do need your separate kitchen, even in a sep. building. But I wanted to find out if anyone has experience with this, did it, has done it or knows someone who does?
I'm not planning this anytime soon, maybe in a couple of years. I have years of experience under my belt with my products, with a 100 % satisfaction rate, so I just need to find a way to do it there. Also, I have no problem separating home from work, even if it's in the same place.
Also would it make a difference if the residence is outside city limits?
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Old 12-19-2007, 12:19 PM
Location: A little suburb of Houston
3,702 posts, read 15,314,449 times
Reputation: 2024
Check out: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/foodesta...nts/rules.shtm
Counties/Cities may also add a few more restrictions but they are all based on the TFER described at the above site.

Good Luck with the new business!
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Location: Guadalupe County
1 posts, read 16,248 times
Reputation: 10
I have been searching for the same information. Thank you so much for the website info!
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Old 08-22-2013, 11:31 AM
4 posts, read 6,475 times
Reputation: 27
Please read texascottagefoodlaw.com. It states all the requirements for home based food businesses. The new laws go into effect September 2013. It states what is allowed to be prepared in your home and where and how you may sell it. Very informative website.
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