Legalize Your Food Biz
So you want to be the next local chocolate company or brewery to hit it big in the Bay Area’s hot food and drink scene? Among the many critical components of running a successful food enterprise is an understanding the many laws that impact your operations. This workshop will walk you through both the legal pitfalls and opportunities at the city, state, and federal level for how to successfully launch and market your food business. You will learn about:
• Choosing the right business entity
• Fundraising regulations
• Employment rules
• California’s cottage food law
• Preventing food safety liability
• Food labeling and marketing laws
• Marketing certifications such as organic and gluten-free
Michele Simon has 18 years of experience in food and beverage law and policy. After years of researching and writing about what’s wrong with the food system, Michele decided to offer her services to food and beverage companies trying to do the right thing. She offers legal advice on federal regulatory compliance for labeling and marketing, among other services. Michele is based in Oakland, California, and offers legal guidance to companies nationally, working of counsel with Foscolo and Handel, PLLC, The Food Law Firm.
Steven M. Sherman
Steven M. Sherman is the founder of Sherman Business Law, a law firm dedicated to the representation of consumers, entrepreneurs and small businesses—including a variety of food-related entities—in transactional and litigated matters. Some recent projects include: reviewing contracts presented by Safeway to a gourmet jam manufacturer; advising on choice of entity for a food start-up; advising on management and control issues for a social media company dedicated to culinary travel adventures; and advising a restaurant about issues relating to trade name infringement.
Christina Oatfield is the policy director at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, which provides legal research, education, advice, and advocacy to promote more localized and just economies. Christina develops policy proposals and advocates for laws such as the California Homemade Food Act and laws that legalize urban agriculture. She is also pursuing an attorney license as part of the Law Office Study Program of the State Bar of California, which is an alternative to law school for aspiring attorneys seeking experiential learning and expertise in topics not often taught in accredited law schools.