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If the government sees you have an apple, they will always want a bite or two … or ten. It is easy to see the bite they take out of your bank account, but sometimes it is harder to see smaller bites from the apple in your hand.

An ITR member who owns an apple orchard told us about the state fees, licenses, and regulations small businesses are subject to in order to sell products. Some of them and their prices from the Iowa Dept of Inspection & Appeals are:

  • Foodservice license to serve food in the store ($150-$400)
  • Retail food license to serve food for take-out ($150-$400)
  • Mobile food license to serve food from a food truck ($250)
  • Food manufacturers license ($150-$500)
  • Farmers market fees ($150 fee for each county)
  • Home bakery ($50)
  • Egg handlers license ($40-$675)
  • Scales license ($9)
  • Analysis of jam or jelly containing hot peppers
  • Numerous regulations for selling cosmetics, lotions, and soaps

It is important for the public to be protected, but selling the same product from different locations requires multiple sets of regulations, licenses, and fees. How about them apples?

Do you think it would be easier to simply have a vending machine? Not so fast, the first vending machine has a $50 fee, and each additional one is $10 each.



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