QUESTION ON Starting a Herbal Tea Business
I am interested in starting a herbal remedy tea business and was not sure how to go about getting started. Do we need FDA approval on this product? Who do we contact for supplies and packaging? What kind of quantity should we get started with? How do we register the name we have chosen for our company?
Whenever you sell food to the public, expect to navigate through myriads of government regulations aimed at protecting the consuming public.
Herbal Tea is listed as one of the items being monitored by the FDA, particularly its labelling and advertising. Please contact Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the rules and regulations governing herbal tea. Herb Tea businesses are typically subject to U.S. FDA Food Facility Registration and U.S. Agent requirements (when applicable). Check also with FDA if your business will need Herb Tea Food Canning Establishment Registration (FCE) and Scheduled Process (SID) regulations. Specifically, contact this FDA unit:
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740
Outreach and Information Center (HFS-009)
You may also want to get hold of various issues of the FDA Consumer Magazine, where a number of articles on herbal products have been written. These information can guide you as to how the FDA monitors your product type.
Also visit California’s Department of Consumer Affairs to determine if your business would need a license. Their web site is http://www.dca.ca.gov/aboutdca/licnhelp.htm
Who do we contact for supplies and packaging?
The best place to look for raw materials and packaging suppliers is the publication Thomas Register, which contains comprehensive listings of industrial products and services. You can borrow the latest edition in your public library or visit their web site at http://www.thomasregister.com/
You can also use Google and search for “herbal tea suppliers” to find listings of firms and companies providing herbal tea materials. Once you’ve listed the name of the company, check the veracity and business practices of the firm with the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org . You can also perform a background check with Dun and Bradstreet at http://www.dnb.com Before you sign any deal with the company, be sure to ask for several references that you can contact to check how they conduct their business.
What kind of quantity should we get started with?
This question will depend mainly on your resources, requirements of your potential distributors, and demand for your product. If you have a limited capital, it is prudent to start on a small scale particularly if market reception on your product is untested. You can expand your operations when demand starts to pick up, and your cash flow is improving
How do we register the name we have chosen for our company?
I suggest you visit California’s Secretary of State web site. They have a section called California Business Portal at http://www.ss.ca.gov/business/resources.htm that lists down the steps you need to take in starting your small business. Note that different states, cities and counties have different regulations, so the best recommendation we can give you is to visit your county office and inquire about the steps in starting your business.
Good Luck !
Nach M Maravilla
Recommended Resources on How To Start a Herbal Tea Business
- The 2011-2016 Outlook for Herbal Tea in India
- Start Your Own Herb and Herbal Products Business (Start Your Own Herb & Herbal Products Business)
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family
- Starting Your Own Coffee and Tea Shop: How to start a successful coffee and tea shop (Startups.Co.UK Guide)
Article originally published in January 2002. Updated March 1, 2012