Can I get in legal trouble for selling coffee?


New member
Dec 15, 2010
Frederick, MD
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So basically I just roast at home in my kitchen and sell 11oz bags to friends and family for a few bucks over costs to fund my roasting hobby.

I'm wondering, at what point does my "hobby" cross the line into a regulated industry? Is there a dollar threshold or quantity when I need to have an approved facility to sell a consumer food product?

It's not a concern with my family, but my friends are starting to recommend my coffee to other friends.

Anyone else have experience with this?

In our state any time you sell a product you need to collect sales tax which requires a license, this will open the can of worms for other license and inspections legal commercial kitchen and more.
The business side (tax or resale license, collection of taxes, etc.), is the easy part. Dealing with the Health Department for the permits for a food processing location, and then dealing with Building and Safety as a commercial enterprise may come into play. Now, what if someone gets sick drinking your coffee? Or they find a shard of metal or piece of glass? Can you afford business insurance? Can you create a business that makes it affordable? Things to consider is all. Each state and county differs so best to check before jumping it... In this rare case, it is not easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. ;-)