I have little funds to start a business (rent space, etc). I have an idea for a cookies company for a very specific target audience: Paleo-friendly cookies made without carbs.
Would it be legal for me to start a food products company from my apartment. I would be cooking in my own kitchen initially. Once it starts generating profit, I could rent space outside where I would produce the product.
Assuming you're talking about doing this in Nevada, then yes you can, but there are restrictions. 2013 Senate Bill 206 legalised "Cottage Food Industries" in Nevada, which means that production of certain food items is allowed from residential premises.
Location: A cottage food item is prepared at an individual’s home, and sold either out of private home residence or a farmer’s market.
Registration: Individuals who run cottage food operations must register their businesses with the health authority, and allow their facility to be inspected by health authorities
Sales: Total sales are limited to $35,000 a year. The item must be sold by the individual who prepared it. Additionally, item may not be resold to a secondary distributor.
Labeling: Must display a label that says “MADE IN A COTTAGE FOOD OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO ROUTINE GOVERNMENT FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS.” Also, must display all other labels consistent with federal regulations.
Manufacturing: Must be made in a kitchen using industry grade appliances and utensils. No child or pets may be present. Proper sanitation and storage is a necessity.
Allowed Food Types:
Some of the legal issues you may run into are health codes and local licensing laws. For example, in my county, you must have a fully inspected and licensed kitchen to sell baked or cooked food. Look up your county's policies on business licenses for more information.