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Soap making legalities?

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Mindy

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So far I've only been making soap as a hobbie for friends and family, but eventually I'd like to start selling it. What do I need to know/do to sell soap legally? Are there any regulations i need to know? Any advice/links would be helpful.
 

Tabitha

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The best thing to do is research your questions at the FDA website. There are no real clear cut directions or instructions. It is all up for interpretation.

I can tell you that you are required to list a phrase similar to "The saftey of this product has not been determined by the FDA" And I would also list something to the effect of "If irritation or redness occurs discontinue & consult your doctor."

As with any buisness you must get a tax ID number so you can collect & pay sales taxes.

You are required to list all of your ingredients on all of your products in order of largest % to smallest %. You need to list your ingredients by their INCI names & not just in common terms. For instance, you should not list Spanish Lavender as Spanish Lavender Oil, You have to list it as Lavandula hybrida (Lavandin) Oil. You can place the common name in perenthesis in the center of the INCI name so everyone knows what it is. Few people know the INCI names.

Hope this helps, it is at least a starting point for you.
 

contessa

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I agree with the last person except for the Tax ID thing. You don't have to bother with that until you get to the point where you've got your own website or store. If you're just selling 'out of your trunk' so to speak, or on ebay - ESPECIALLY if its under like $1000 a year (check the laws on that. In Texas at least its $800), you don't have to pay taxes. Just make your soap and sell it =o) Heck, don't even bother with the Latin names for now. The other person is talking about if you're selling big time. I know of a couple who sells their soap online and at Ren Faires all over the country and just list their ingredients as 'tea, herbs, essential oils, lye, water...' ect.
 

Tabitha

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It is true that most people who sell soap w/o legal labeling, tax permits, etc do not get caught, but why leave yourself open to lawsuit when it's easy enough to run your business or hobby on the up & up?

I did not label proper & I did not have tax ID my 1st year of selling but I can see now that was just asking for trouble. I didn't see that at the time. Hind sight is 20/20.

I have seen people sued over soap they have sold at church craft fairs. It does happen & it can be devastating.

Mindy is smart to ask about legalities. The legalities of soap/cosmetics should not be taken lightly.

Better safe than sorry!
 

soapwytch

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If you are selling period, make sure your labels met the regulations. Even if you are giving it away (unless it's to a soaper that knows what they are dealing with), it should be labeled. OYu never know when someone might have an allergy and if there isn't a proper label they don't know what they might be using. All it takes is one bar that someone has a problem to get you in hot water and possibly cause your customer so unwarranted problems.
 

mandys

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In the UK all soap recipes have to be certified by a chemist, including each variation on fragrances and colurs etc....and labelling is strict you have to have all the ingridients in latin and a batch number and the manufacturers details - it works out really costly to get just a few recipes certified.
 

Tabitha

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Wow, that is strict. Do they enforce it very sternly? Would they catch you selling at church or school sale and impose penalties?
 

margi

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mandys said:
In the UK all soap recipes have to be certified by a chemist, including each variation on fragrances and colurs etc....and labelling is strict you have to have all the ingridients in latin and a batch number and the manufacturers details - it works out really costly to get just a few recipes certified.

Oh wow!! :shock:
 

FitMommyOf2

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Tabitha said:
The best thing to do is research your questions at the FDA website. There are no real clear cut directions or instructions. It is all up for interpretation.

I can tell you that you are required to list a phrase similar to "The saftey of this product has not been determined by the FDA" And I would also list something to the effect of "If irritation or redness occurs discontinue & consult your doctor."

As with any buisness you must get a tax ID number so you can collect & pay sales taxes.

You are required to list all of your ingredients on all of your products in order of largest % to smallest %. You need to list your ingredients by their INCI names & not just in common terms. For instance, you should not list Spanish Lavender as Spanish Lavender Oil, You have to list it as Lavandula hybrida (Lavandin) Oil. You can place the common name in perenthesis in the center of the INCI name so everyone knows what it is. Few people know the INCI names.

Hope this helps, it is at least a starting point for you.
Great pointers, Tab! Thank you!!! :D
 
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