Licensing

One of the first major hurdles in this gift basket business journey has been licensure.  Gift Basket Delights is a home-based business and we’re located in Minnesota.  The Department of Agriculture here absolutely does not want to license home-based businesses.  Because it’s something they don’t do, then that means that all businesses that are home-based and sell any kind of food items — and I’m talking about prepackaged — are technically illegal.  We can’t sell vitamins, spice blends, pancake and brownie mixes, etc. from home. 

I had been in business for one year when I learned this.  By then, I knew this is a business that I love and didn’t want to give it up.  We were only part-time at that time, but still — without that license we would be illegal and I can’t imagine expecting to have legitimate clients if we weren’t legitimate ourselves.

This was in February of 2004.  I contacted the Department of Agriculture and learned all of the requirements for licensure.  We were able to meet every requirement for our Commercial Food Handler’s License except one for which we have a variance.  In August 2004 we received our license and to my knowledge we are still the only home-based business in this state with licensure.

It’s time for inspection again, which is probably why I’m thinking about this.  I can understand the need for licensure, but it would be good to see the law changed so that Minnesota is more home-based business friendly.

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Published in: on June 10, 2007 at 4:50 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hi Cindy. I was wondering, who did you contact at the DOA to get the information on licensing. I’m really curious on how you stayed home-based, what variance?

    I have been trying to start my own gift basket business, but the inability to keep it at home has been obstacle. I wonder, if I don’t do food products, do I still need DOA licensure? Any insight would be appreciated, thanks!

  2. I’m actually Angie, not Cindy!

    I would be happy to talk to you about it. Are you local here in the Minneapolis area? You can call if you’d like to talk.

    It’s definitely not an easy thing to do. It took me six months and I had to do a lot of paperwork. It’s a very good feeling when it’s all complete and definitely worth the work.


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