Is it legal to make/sell candy from home?


My wife is really getting into making hard candy from home, including cough drops. She's wanting to start selling them on Etsy. But, we're having trouble finding any information on whether or not it's legal for her to do this in our state (Oklahoma).

We need to know:

  1. Is it legal?
  2. Does she need a commercial kitchen? (most important question)
  3. Does she need a food handlers license? (this one I'm assuming is a yes)
  4. Any other legalities we need to be aware of?

I've searched the site up and down without much success. Any resources to information would be helpful.

Note: Also, based on the FAQ's of both OnStartups & Cooking.SE, it made more sense to ask this question here.

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asked Nov 8 '11 at 10:45
118 points
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  • Thank you, @Kort Pleco for adding those tags. – Joshmax 12 years ago

3 Answers


I think you are going to be hard up getting an answer to this. It's more a question of food regulation than business skills or knowledge so your chances of finding someone with that knowledge in your area is slim (on this site).

The best bit of advice I can give you is don't take legal advice from the internet because it's not going to save you.

In Australia we can easily contact our local council to ask questions around food safety and they will be able to provide you with some contacts.

I would also try and track down someone in your area that is a small business and sells food. So find someone that is selling muffins or cookies to local coffee shops for example and ask them what they know.

I think you should try and find some real world contacts to help with solving this problem.

answered Nov 8 '11 at 14:13
1,257 points
  • +1 for getting some offline advice. In Australia this would not be legal but you need specific advice for your state. Call your state business office for a start. – Susan Jones 12 years ago
  • Yes, I figured this was going to be the route I'll have to take, wanted to get some input from my friends from SE first, though :) – Joshmax 12 years ago


Have you checked this post from Etsy's blog? Of course the exact answer depends on your local regulation, but that article has some practical tips and a checklist that might help.

Other similar Etsy sellers located near you, that likely went down the same drill, might help you, too.

answered Nov 9 '11 at 09:47
829 points


Check with your local Health Department. They can usually answer most of your questions with ease. I checked into the same stuff for the state of Arizona. To my findings, you can make candy from your home as long as it's not hazardous. Again, this varies by state, so you have to check on that. The Arizona Health Department's website broke it down really well and explained proper ways to clean and process the food. The one requirment they did ask for was a Food Handler's License. Those are pretty simple to get online and are very inexpensive.

As for selling candy or food online, that is a whole different issue. I believe you need a license for each state in order to do that but not too sure on that one. I was looking at selling homemade beef jerky online at one time and that's when I ran into that issue. Of course people still sell through eBay but I am pretty sure they are not following the guidelines. You're just asking for trouble if you don't follow the law because if someone gets sick from your food, you will be taken to the cleaners.

I hope this helps!

answered Oct 2 '12 at 19:40
21 points

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