Starting a Comfort Food Business in York County, SC: What You Need to Know

Starting a comfort food business in York County, South Carolina is relatively straightforward. Obtaining a business license is necessary for tax purposes, but those who work in their own kitchens don't need a food establishment permit. South Carolina home food producers must keep all animals, including pets, out of the food production area and prohibit any domestic activities while the home food production operation is being processed. It is also essential to ensure that water and wastewater disposal systems meet state standards.

Producers can sell their products both directly to consumers and indirectly to retail stores. They can also sell online and ship their products. There is no sales limit and no need to take a food safety training course or obtain a permit from the health department. The Office of the Secretary of State only maintains a record of the legal names of business entities that are organized under the laws of South Carolina or that have authority to transact business in the state.

This is especially useful if your food business is expanding beyond the limitations of your home kitchen and comfort food laws. Home-food companies must properly label all of their food products, in accordance with federal laws and regulations. Selling to a food retail establishment or selling products at a retail food establishment (including permitted mobile food units) is not allowed. For more information on selling foods that don't meet the definition of comfort food, please refer to this page.

York County does not require a business license, but businesses located or operating within municipal boundaries may be required to pay an annual licensing fee. A food retail establishment permit is not necessary as long as all food production takes place in the home kitchen. The Institute of Justice's Food Freedom Initiative provides resources for home bakers and other food entrepreneurs as part of a wider trend towards healthy eating and responsible sourcing. Consumers are increasingly interested in knowing where their food comes from and who makes it.

York County does not require information about DBA (Doing Business As), but some banks or other institutions may require this presentation to open a business account or receive money. Commercial corporations, not-for-profit corporations, limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and limited liability companies are the only business entities that must apply to the Office of the Secretary of State.