TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Last night, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a pair of bills that will make it easier for Floridians to earn a living from home. House Bill 663, named the “Home Sweet Home Act,” reforms rules on selling shelf-stable homemade foods, commonly known as cottage foods, and House Bill 403 standardizes rules for operating businesses inside of a home. The two bills were sent to the governor together after they were approved by the Florida Legislature.
“Today is a great day for Floridians who want to use their biggest asset to get started in business: their home,” said IJ Florida Office Managing Attorney Justin Pearson. “Half of all businesses are home-based, yet many of Florida’s city and county governments have created unnecessary red tape preventing Floridians from pursuing the American Dream. Entrepreneurs can now launch from home with confidence, whether they are baking cookies, selling hand-crafted goods, or simply working on their computer.”
House Bill 663 reforms cottage food regulations in four critical ways:
- Allowing foods to be shipped to customers. Since sales are limited to shelf-stable foods, there is no risk in shipping them.
- Clearing away local red tape. Rules would be standardized statewide, eliminating needlessly inconsistent and unnecessary rules such as what percentage of the home can be used or that only a kitchen can be used to prep and package food.
- Allowing cottage food entrepreneurs to have business partners.
- Raising the $50,000 cap on gross revenue to $250,000. The majority of U.S. states have no cap at all, since not being able to use commercial kitchens or any commercial equipment already limits production.
“The new law will modernize Florida’s cottage food laws, bringing them in line with many other states,” said Pearson. “And since 83% of cottage food entrepreneurs are women, it will help spark new women-owned businesses across the Sunshine State.”
House Bill 403 standardizes rules for operating businesses inside of a home. The bill bans city and county governments from regulating work that happens strictly inside a residence. Local restrictions on activities that affect the outside of a residence—including parking, noise or emissions—can still continue.
“Many Floridians have started home-based businesses during the past year, either out of necessity or because they felt the time was right,” said Pearson. “Now these entrepreneurs can focus on building their businesses, rather than worrying about whether their workspace took up too much room in their home.”