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The Ultimate Guide to Cottage Food Law

Who doesn't love a homemade cookie, brownie, jam, or loaf of bread? Even better, what's better than sharing your homemade food with your friends and community?

Cottage food — or food that is made in a home kitchen — is a growing category, and the rules and laws surrounding cottage food can be overwhelming. Find cottage food laws by state and start learning about the types of homemade foods you can sell, where you can sell homemade food, and how to sell homemade food. Select your state below to get started.

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Cottage Food Law

Have you ever heard someone say that you should go into business with your special recipe? Maybe you've been thinking about selling your food to the public.

The good news is that many states have what is commonly called a cottage food law that enables small food producers to create products out of their kitchens and sell them.

The U.S cottage food market has grown from a value of $5 billion in 2008 to an estimated $20 billion in 2019 and is still increasing. The relative ease and few resources needed to set up a cottage food business compared to a commercial food business have made it an attraction to many. Preparing food from the comfort of your home for sale is a quick and cost-effective route to put your cooking skills to work while benefiting from the fast-growing market.

What Are Cottage Foods?

Generally, cottage foods are foods made in a person’s home and sold directly to an informed consumer. They are non-potentially hazardous foods made in a private kitchen and do not require time or temperature for safety. Examples include low-risk foods like baked goods, vinegar and spice blends. Preparation of these foods is regulated by cottage food laws rather than commercial restaurant and health laws.

Cottage Food Meaning: Cottage foods are food produced by someone in small batches that are offered to the public in places such as farmers markets, special events, out of their home, or on a roadside stand. These foods are typically the type that will not spoil without refrigeration and may include certain canned goods.

What Are Cottage Food Laws?

Cottage food laws are laws set by each state to regulate these at-home food businesses. They determine the type of food, what to sell, where to sell and how much you can sell per year. In certain states, you will require a cottage food permit or a cottage food license and domestic kitchen license before you can start a cottage food business.

Cottage Food List

Cottage foods vary from state to state, but they typically include the following:

Laws Governing Cottage Food

In most states, you cannot sell your cottage food to businesses such as restaurants or grocery stores. A few states do allow it, but most do not. None of the states allow you to ship your food out of state, but that doesn't mean you can't sell it on the Internet to local folks. In general, cottage food must be sold directly to the customer, no middleman involved.

Many states do require a business license, cottage food license or permit, which requires you to fill out a cottage food license application and submit to a kitchen health inspection. There is also a limit to how much money you can make selling cottage foods in a year. These numbers range from $2,500 to $250,000, while other states have done away with income caps completely.

At this point, you may be wondering how to get around cottage food laws. It's a bad idea to try, because if you're caught, you could face thousands of dollars in fines, or even jail time, depending on the seriousness of the infraction.

Cottage Food Law Labels

In addition to following your state's cottage food laws, you will also have to follow their requirements for labeling your cottage food. Your food will need to be in a package of some type with a label. Typically, you will have to have the following information appear on your label:

Cottage Food Laws By State

Most states have cottage food laws. These laws vary from state to state, and sometimes even from county to county, which means you should contact your local health department to confirm that you can operate within the boundaries of cottage food law. They can usually direct you to the agency that oversees cottage food laws and can help you apply for a license.

The production and sales of processed food are governed by state and federal regulations. The Department of Health of each state generally oversees the cottage food businesses, along with the department of agriculture in some cases. Some state laws have strict income limitations, permitted foods and other requirements, while others are more liberal. Cottage food laws vary a lot by state. An overview of some of the states will show how each region’s regulations may differ completely.

Below, find a sampling of the cottage food laws in several states. If your state is not listed, you can obtain information from your local county extension office or the county health department for laws regarding making and selling cottage foods.

Alabama Cottage Food Law

Alabama requires that each cottage food item sold must have a label. Each label must include the simple name of the food item, the name and address of where the cottage food item is made, a statement that there is no inspection of food by the health department, a list of the ingredients the food contains starting with the most prominent to the least, and a statement the food may contain common allergens. The label must be in at least 10-point font or bigger. Also, the Cottage Food Law does require a cottage food provider to maintain certification in food safety.

Alabama allows direct sales of almost any type of non-perishable food, and, as of 2021, there is no sales limit. Online sales and in-state shipping are allowed. However, producers must take a basic food safety training course and get approved by their local health department.

The following cottage foods may be sold in Alabama:

The following cottage food may not be sold in Alabama:

For further information, visit Alabama Cottage Food Law Rules and Regulations.

Alaska Cottage Food Law

Alaska allows the sale of cottage foods without a permit if the cottage food provider follows certain guidelines. These guidelines include:

Cottage foods do not require any refrigeration to keep safe. These foods include:

If you are unsure about the safety of your cottage foods or you have any questions, contact the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.

Arizona Cottage Food Law

There are over 10,000 cottage food businesses registered in Arizona, making it one of the most successful cottage food states in the country. The state also has lenient cottage food laws. Unlike many other states, Arizona does not have a cap on how much a cottage food producer can make on their products and the producer may sell to other stores and businesses. The process of gaining a cottage food license in Arizona requires only a few quick steps:

  1. Pass the Online Food Safety and Handling course
  2. Register your cottage food business with Online Arizona Cottage Food Law Registration
  3. You may need to register with your local county health department. Confirm your need to register with the county health department before selling any of your products.
  4. Find out if you need a county or city business license.

Arizona does require a food label on cottage food products. The items required are:

The approved cottage foods that can be sold in Arizona are numerous. Foods such as breads, candies, cakes, honey, granola, etc. can be sold but for a comprehensive list, visit Arizona Approved Cottage Foods List.

Arkansas Cottage Food Law

Arkansas has amended its cottage food law three times, most recently passing the Food Freedom Act. The Food Freedom Act allows cottage food producers to sell their foods to anyone, including stores, as well as to other states and online, as long as the producer complies with food safety guidelines. Cottage food producers can sell any non-perishable food with a few requirements on acidic foods like pickles. There is no limit to how much a cottage food producer can make. The Food Freedom Act was developed to prevent governments from restricting food sales. For a complete list of foods and guidelines, visit Arkansas Homemade Food Production Guidelines.

Arkansas cottage food providers must provide a label for all foods including name of the food being sold, allergens that may be in the food, ingredients, contact information of the provider, and a statement saying, “This product is home produced.” The statement must be in 10-point font at the minimum.

California Cottage Food Law

The cottage food laws in California may seem daunting because California requires you to register your business, apply for a permit, get trained as a food handler and food processor in two separate courses. On the flip side, home-based food vendors in California are able to sell a wider variety of foods than vendors in other states with more restrictive laws.

You must register with the local environmental health agency. You must also comply with any local laws, get a business license, and take a food handler training course.

Foods you can produce and sell include:

Colorado Cottage Food Law

Colorado’s cottage food laws are a little more restrictive than most states. Producers cannot make more than $10,000 on any one food item sold in one calendar year. The foods sold must include a label with the following information:

Cottage food producers in Colorado must also take a food class, which teaches them how to operate a food business from home. The approved foods list in Colorado includes:

For a complete list of approved foods and other information, visit Food Smart Colorado.

Connecticut Cottage Food Law

Like most states, Connecticut has a list of foods approved to be sold as cottage foods. In Connecticut, if you want to sell a food not on the approved foods list, you can apply to have it added. You can only sell low-risk food that does not have to have temperature controls. A complete list of already approved foods can be found by visiting Guide for Cottage Food Operators.

To apply for approval of a food, you must:

A cottage food provider may not make more than $25,000 in one year on the foods they are selling. If you want to make more than that allotted amount, you will have to get a license for a food manufacturing establishment. For more information on this license or any other information about being a cottage food provider in Connecticut, visit Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

Delaware Cottage Food Law

Delaware’s cottage food laws are more stringent than most in that there are several steps to becoming an approved cottage food provider. The steps required are:

Like other states, there is a cap on what a cottage food producer can make ($25,000) and there are requirements for what must be on the food label:

The foods approved in Delaware include bread, snacks, preserves, and candy and these items may be sold at farmer’s markets, festivals, farmers' markets and fairs. For a complete list of rules and approved food safety classes, visit the Delaware Office of Food Protection.

Florida Cottage Food Law

Florida has a number of requirements for vendors following its cottage food laws. The state overhauled its laws in 2017, and while there were no major changes to Florida cottage food law 2020, the state recently passed HB 663 and HB 403, which expanded and improved the Florida cottage food law 2021.

The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Florida, or even a home kitchen inspection. Curious about the cottage food law Florida sales tax? You may need to collect a local sales tax, depending on your city's rules.

The cottage food laws in Florida allow a producer to operate with no license, inspection or training. While selling from home in Florida, producers must sell directly to the end customer, and their income must not exceed $250,000 per year.

The Florida cottage food label template requirements are specific, but not incredibly difficult to follow. Make sure that your labels include your product name, allergens, your business name and address, ingredients, the net amount, and a statement that your product was "Made in a cottage food operation that is not subject to Florida's food safety regulations."

The Florida cottage food list includes:

Georgia Cottage Food Law

Georgia cottage food laws make it quite easy to sell cottage foods from home. You will have to obtain a license to sell your food products. The steps you must take are:

  1. Contact your local zoning and planning office to see if there are ordinances you need to be aware of when starting a home business.
  2. You will have to get your well water tested by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. (if applicable)
  3. Take a food safety course approved by the American National Standards Institute. The tests that are approved are ServSafe, NRFSP, or Prometric.
  4. Complete the Cottage Food License Application. You will have a yearly renewal fee of $100.
  5. Get a one-time inspection of your kitchen.

Georgia cottage food laws have more requirements than most other states. Vendors must have a business license, take a training course, apply and get their home inspected before getting their cottage food license. There are no sales limits, and the list of foods you can sell from home in Georgia is comprehensive.

Approved cottage foods in Georgia include:

Georgia does require a label on cottage foods including:

For a complete list of approved foods and other information about Georgia cottage food laws, visit the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

Hawaii Cottage Food Law

Hawaii is one of the most relaxed states in terms of cottage food laws as in 2017, the state updated its homemade food sales to allow the sale of many types of low-risk foods without excessive government oversight. Cottage food operators will need to attend at least one basic food safety course, but they will not need to apply for a permit or undergo a health department inspection for many foods. Once that course is completed, food operators can sell directly to their consumers (note that online and third-party or retail sales are not allowed under just the basic cottage food law).

While starting up a home-based food operation in Hawaii is easy and straightforward, there are some important labeling the state requires. Every packaged food will need to have the food operator's full name and contact information, an ingredient list if made from more than two ingredients, a common or descriptive name of the product, and a clear statement that indicates the product was made in a home kitchen that was not routinely inspected by Hawaii's health department.

Homemade foods that are approved under Hawaii's cottage food law include:

Idaho Cottage Food Law

The state of Idaho makes it easy to get up and running as a cottage food operator as it allows home kitchen operators to produce and sell just about every food product that does not require refrigeration. Cottage food operators that stick to the approved low-risk list will not need to apply for permitting or undergo a food inspection.

However, while it is easy to just hit the ground running, cottage food operators looking for long-term viability should consider applying for a cottage home bakery license. While not mandatory, the exam for this takes just an hour, costs less than $20, and conveys a greater sense of respectability and responsibility to one's buyers.

Idaho will require home kitchen operators to obtain a business license and a sales tax permit. Once these are obtained, a cottage food operator can begin selling directly to in-state consumers via in-person events (farmers' markets, fairs, etc.), local stores, by mail order, and at their own roadside stand.

Examples of foods allowed by Idaho cottage food law include:

Illinois Cottage Food Law

The Illinois cottage food law can be complex and requires that you must be registered with your local health department.

If you live in Chicago, be aware that Chicago has its own set of regulations for cottage food, and you will need to contact the local health department to find out what those are. You will have to file for a business license and take a Food Safety Manager Training.

The Illinois cottage food list includes:

Unlike many states, Illinois specifically lists out foods that cannot be sold by cottage food producers.

Indiana Cottage Food Law

The Indiana cottage food laws cover the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market. The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Indiana, other than a business license. You will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

Some aspects of Indiana's cottage food law can feel very restrictive while other aspects make it one of the more lenient states in terms of what must be done to get started.

Getting started selling food from home in Indiana is certainly the easiest part. This is because home-based food vendors do not need to complete any registration process or pay any fees for inspection, licensing, or anything of the like. Cottage food operators can sell just about any type of nonperishable food, and they are not limited to how much they sell or how much they can make via homemade food sales (most states will have an income cap after which operators will need to apply for more commercial kitchen permitting).

Before 2022, producers could only sell at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. Under the amended Indiana cottage food law, Indiana allows home-based vendors to sell directly to consumers within the state and make online sales and in-state shipping. There is no sales limit, and no license or inspection is needed. Although almost all types of nonperishable foods are allowed, acidified foods such as pickles, salsas and sauces are prohibited.

The Indiana cottage food list includes:

Iowa Cottage Food Law

In the state of Iowa, home food vendors fall into one of two categories: traditional cottage food and home bakery cottage food. Those who sell generic cottage food won't face restrictive laws for entering the market, but they will be restricted where they can sell. In contrast, those who opt to apply as a home bakery cottage food operator will need to undergo a permitting process and adhere to certain sales limitations, but they have greater freedom on where and what to sell.

For example, an Iowa cottage food home operation without the bakery license won't have to apply for any food license or permitting. They will need to apply basic labels to all food products, but there are no limitations on how much they can sell once they start operating. However, cottage food vendors are limited to where they can sell, with the law only allowing for home sales (either to the consumer in-person directly or via state mail).

Those Iowa cottage food operators who want to sell in a greater array of places should apply for the Iowa Home Bakery license. This removes all restrictions on where you can sell, these types of operators can even sell through restaurants and grocery stores. However, there is an annual sales cap of $35,000.

Some of the cottage foods allowed for those choosing the simpler Iowa home vendor option include:

Kansas Cottage Food Law

Kansas cottage food laws are very simple and people eager to start making money selling food made from their own kitchen can start immediately. In Kansas, cottage home vendors do not need to apply for licensing, food safety certification, or even develop their own labels (although labels and food safety certification are strongly recommended for greater sales). Then, once you start selling, the state of Kansas will not limit you on how much you can sell.

But while there is a lot to like about Kansas's low restrictions on the cottage food industry, there are some important guidelines to follow. Most importantly, the type of food that can be sold is limited to those that are non-TCS (Temperature Control for Safety). In other words, foods must not need refrigeration and must be capable of being stored at room temperature.

A few examples of cottage foods allowed by Kansas state law include:

Kentucky Cottage Food Law

Selling homemade food used to be incredibly hard in Kentucky as it was illegal to sell such products if you did not own a farm. Thankfully for enterprising Kentuckians, a special cottage food-friendly law passed in 2019 to open the doors some.

Today, anyone of legal age can sell allowed homemade foods and food products so long as they follow certain regulations. You will need to apply for a license and permit and agree to a potential annual kitchen inspection by the Kentucky Health Department. In addition, Kentucky is very strict about home kitchens and how foods can be prepared. For example, no household foods for the family can be cooked in conjunction with cottage food products for sale and only two commercial stoves or ovens are allowed within a home kitchen.

In Kentucky, every cottage food producer must register with the health department. No inspection or food safety training is needed. Indirect sales and shipping products are not allowed. Those who want to make canned foods can do so with a home-based microprocessor license. The annual sales limit is $60,000.

Examples of foods allowed by the entry-level cottage food permitting in Kentucky include:

Louisiana Cottage Food Law

The Louisiana cottage food law covers the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market.

Louisiana home food operators do not need a state permit or state license in order to make and sell food products from the state's approved list. You will need a Louisiana General Sales Tax, however. Additionally, different parishes within the state will have their own laws on where foods can be sold that stack on top of the state's own restrictions. This makes it incredibly important for cottage food operators to check with their local parish before setting up shop.

The state of Louisiana does have some restrictions on how home kitchens operate. For example, there is an annual sales limit of $20,000 for cottage food operators; those making more will need to apply for more commercial kitchen status. Louisiana also requires all cottage food products to feature labels that clearly indicate they come from a home kitchen and have not been inspected or regulated.

Cottage foods that are on the Louisiana state-approved food list include:

Maine Cottage Food Law

Maine offers cottage food operators and chefs an incredible amount of freedom in making and selling home-based foods. Here, you can sell just about anywhere, including both directly to consumers at festivals and farmers' markets as well as via third-party retailers like through restaurants and roadside stands. There is also no income cap on home-based food sales. So you can grow as big as possible without needing to upgrade to more expensive commercial business licensing.

However, such freedom does not come, well, free. Every cottage food operator will need to apply for a state food license, and which food license you will need to apply for will depend upon the type of food wanting to be sold. Cottage food operators will also have to apply for a secondary mobile vending license in order to sell at farmers' markets and craft fairs. The good news is that the application processes for these licenses are straightforward with requirements quality food operators would have wanted to instill anyways.

Cottage foods allowed by the lowest level license in Maine include a long list of non-perishable items like:

Maryland Cottage Food Law

In the state of Maryland, a cottage food operator can sell approved food products without a license or special food permit. However, there are special labeling and packaging requirements for all cottage food products. These labels must include a name and full address where the food was processed (the use of a P.O. Box is prohibited and can result in fines). If you do not want to use your home address, you can apply for a state-issued unique identification number. Labels must also include ingredients and a phrase indicating that the product was made by a cottage food business not subject to state food safety regulations.

Maryland cottage food businesses can sell their products directly to the consumer within the state of Maryland. This allows for online and mail delivery of food products, but all sales, even online sales, must occur on state land. For example, you can sell home-baked bread to a New Jersey resident at a roadside stand in Maryland, but you can't ship home-baked bread to that same New Jersey customer's home.

Foods allowed under Maryland's cottage food law include:

Massachusetts Cottage Food Law

The Massachusetts cottage food laws cover the basics to selling food from home or at a farmers market. You will need to be licensed and inspected by the local health department and obtain your permit. You will also need to apply for a business license and a sales tax license, and collect sales tax for your area.

The Massachusetts cottage food list includes:

Michigan Cottage Food Law

The good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Michigan, just a business license. You may need a Michigan cottage food law online training. The Michigan cottage food law shipping does not allow shipping out of state.

The Michigan cottage food list includes:

Mississippi Cottage Food Law

There are no state licensing or permits required to make and sell cottage foods in the state of Mississippi, but there are some local jurisdictions that will require it. So it is important to check local laws before selling goods. Mississippi also does not require a home kitchen inspection before selling, but if you ever have a customer complain against you regarding unsafe food, then you will be required to undergo an inspection by the state Health Department.

Under Mississippi cottage food laws, many food products are allowed, and no registration or permit from the health department is required. Individuals can sell only $35,000 of homemade food per year.

Mississippi allows cottage food operators to advertise and sell food products both online and in-person, so long as the products go directly from producer to consumer (in other words, you can have an online advertisement and sale, but then the food must then be handed directly to the buyer and not mailed). Sales of food through a restaurant or retail store (including groceries) are strictly prohibited.

Examples of types of foods allowed under Mississippi cottage food law include:

Missouri Cottage Food Law

According to the Missouri cottage food law, you don't need a permit to sell food from home in Missouri, other than a business license.

The Missouri cottage food list includes:

Montana Cottage Food Law

Montana is a great state to be a cottage food operator in thanks to the recent passage of the 2021 Local Food Choice Act. This unique cottage food law exempts a wide array of cottage foods from needing state licenses, permits, initial inspections, or stringent labeling with one notable exception. All cottage food sold must feature a label that makes it clear to all potential buyers that the products have not been licensed, permitted, certified, labeled, packaged, or inspected by official regulators. This law overrides all local ordinances.

In addition to being able to get started right away with making and selling food, Montana cottage food operators have a lot of freedom in where and what they sell. There is no annual sales cap and while selling through third parties is prohibited, cottage food operators can sell online, by mail, and in any direct-to-consumer manner (potlucks, farmers' markets, community events, etc.).

Cottage foods allowed under Montana state law include:

Nebraska Cottage Food Law

Nebraska used to be very strict with its cottage food laws, with the state once only allowing the sale of cottage foods through licensed farmer's markets. This was extremely restrictive as farmer's markets often have limited spaces that are legacy-based, making it hard for newcomers to breakthrough. So many Nebraskan entrepreneurs were excited when a 2020 cottage food law opened up the door to allowing producers to sell their goods directly to consumers anywhere. This now includes online orders, mail delivery orders, and in-person sales at public events or roadside stands.

However, this new law does have some restrictions. Cottage food operators wanting to sell any cottage foods at a location other than an approved farmers' market will need to complete a nationally accredited food safety course and pay for state registration and licensing.

Foods allowed under Nebraska cottage food law include:

Nevada Cottage Food Law

In Nevada, cottage food operators do not have to undergo an initial inspection prior to selling their home-based products, but they must register with state health authorities. All foods sold via the cottage food operation will also need to submit a label application.

The label review can be frustrating and expensive as there is a per-hour fee for each hour it takes the board to review the label and each unique product sold by a cottage food operator must be approved by the review board. It is thus a good idea to fully go through all of the labeling requirements before submitting for review and ensure all pertinent information is included in a label. For example, any product that includes peanuts, a common and potentially lethal allergen, or is processed in a kitchen that also processes peanuts must have clear and bold labeling information stating such.

Cottage foods that can be sold in Nevada include:

New Hampshire Cottage Food Law

New Hampshire might have the state motto "Live Free or Die," but that doesn't mean everything is kosher in this northeast state when it comes to selling goods made in a home kitchen. The state's cottage food laws have some significant restrictions on where, what, and how much food home producers can sell.

The good news about the cottage food industry in New Hampshire is that all standard non-perishable cottage foods won't require sellers to apply for special licensing or permitting. Cottage food operators can sell up to $20,000 worth of their own goods and can sell those goods direct to consumers anywhere in the state, person-to-person.

Cottage food operators who sell more than $20,000 in food sales, or who want to go beyond direct seller-to-buyer sales, such as via retail stores, over the Internet, or by mail order, will need to apply for a New Hampshire Homestead license.

Foods allowed under New Hampshire cottage food law include:

New Jersey Cottage Food Law

New Jersey introduced its first cottage food law in 2021. Previously, it was the only state without a cottage food law.

New Jersey's cottage food rules are more lenient than those of other states, though. New Jersey allows many types of nonperishable foods to be sold, and cottage food makers can even request special approval to sell additional types of nonperishable foods.

Cottage food law NJ permits online sales, as well as cottage food sales at events, farmers markets, from your home, and at roadside stands.

New Mexico Cottage Food Law

Anyone in New Mexico who handles food, whether that is as a server in a commercial restaurant or as a cottage food operator selling one's own food, is required to apply for a New Mexico food handler's card. The exceptions are Bernalillo County and Albuquerque which have superseding food safety regulations.

Outside of this permit cad, however, New Mexico cottage food laws are fairly non-restrictive. New Mexico cottage food operators do not need their own special licensing, and they can sell food directly to consumers in most places, including via online and phone sales that require mail delivery. The only restriction here is that New Mexico cottage food operators can not sell through a third party, this means no wholesaler accounts or sales through grocery chains.

Types of foods permissible under New Mexico cottage food law include:

New York Cottage Food Law

According to the cottage food laws NY, the good news is that you don't need a permit to sell food from home in New York, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the cottage food law NY with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. Unless you plan on selling other food than cottage food, you do not have to get a New York food license. In most cases, you do not need a home bakery license NY. However, if you want to know how to start a home-based catering business in New York, farm stand regulations NY, or how to obtain a New York state temporary food permit, you should probably contact the local health department to find out what rules and regulations apply.

The New York cottage food list includes (but is not exclusive to):

North Carolina Cottage Food Law

Starting a cottage food business in North Carolina can feel very restrictive. Making and selling food to consumers within this state requires undertaking a long application process which includes the submittal of a business plan, labels, and utility bills as well as a home inspection by a health department official. A big turn-off for many would-be cottage food operators is that you will not be approved if you have any pets or animals who enter the home for any length of time.

However, once a cottage food operator has received the green light from local and state officials, they have a lot more freedom in terms of where, to whom, and how much food they sell. Approved North Carolina cottage food operators have no annual sales cap for how much they can sell and profit and almost no restrictions on where they can sell their food to. For example, an approved North Carolina cottage food operator can sell their goods in grocery stores, restaurants, roadside stands, through mail order, and more. All so long as buyers are within the state at the time of delivery or sale.

North Carolina allows a broad array of cottage foods for sale, including:

North Dakota Cottage Food Law

North Dakota has some of the best cottage food laws in the United States. You can prepare foods like baked goods, jellies and jams, many types of non-perishable foods, frozen produce, and even raw chicken. You will not be privy to any sales limit, meaning you can generate as much profit as you care to work for.

The state of North Dakota does not impose any licensing or training processes. You may sell your delicious cottage food creations at your home, farmers markets, roadside stands, farmstands, or any other venue that is not specifically prohibited by law. Further, you're allowed to take orders from customers in your service area and make deliveries. However, interstate sales are prohibited.

The health department in North Dakota will not bother to inspect your cottage food operation unless a complaint is made against you. If you sell high-acid foods, or acidic canned foods, you will have to assess them with a calibrated pH meter to be sure that the pH level is at or below 4.6.

North Dakota mandates that cottage food chefs provide labeling on temperature-controlled products with proper safe handling instructions. This applies to perishable baked goods, raw poultry, and frozen produce products.

Ohio Cottage Food Law

Ohio's cottage food laws are pretty relaxed compared to most other states. The state of Ohio makes it easy to get started as a cottage chef or other type of food artisan, requiring no permits or licenses. In Ohio, you can begin a cottage food business from your home simply, affordably, and at once!

Cottage food chefs in Ohio are allowed to prepare and sell a wide range of food products including:

In Ohio, you may also offer candies and confections like no-bake cookies, chocolate covered non-perishable foods, jams and jellies, commercially dried fruit, and fruit butters. Or perhaps you'd rather prepare and sell dried herb mixes, dried seasoning blends, BBQ rubs, dried tea blends, maple syrup, honeycomb and flavored honey, or dry soup mixes. There's a lot of options for cottage chefs in Ohio!

Oklahoma Cottage Food Law

Like Ohio, Oklahoma makes it simple to get started as a cottage food operator. There's a $75,000 annual income cap for cottage food artisans in Oklahoma, and starting your business is as easy as pie!

Cottage food that you sell in Oklahoma must have a label on it that includes the name and address of your cottage food company, the name of the food item, its net weight, and all of its ingredients. Your label must also include the following statement in a clear color and at least a 10-point font size:

“This product was produced in a private residence that is exempt from government licensing and inspection.”

If it's too difficult to affix the label to the food product itself, you’ll have to supply a freestanding label placed near the product or on a printed receipt.

If you are selling your cottage food products via a third party vendor, you must provide a label or placard with the following statement:

“This product was produced in a private residence that is exempt from government licensing and inspection. This product may contain allergens.”

Some of the foods that you can sell as cottage food in Oklahoma include biscuits, bread, bagels, brownies, cakes, and cookies. You may also offer donuts, muffins, rolls, scones, sweetbread, tortillas, crackers, granola, and pretzels.

In 2021, Oklahoma replaced its cottage food law with the Homemade Food Freedom Act (HB 1032). Under the food freedom law, producers can sell their food products in grocery stores, retail stores and even across states. Producers do not need a permit, and annual sales are limited to $75,000.

Oregon Cottage Food Law

Like many states, Oregon sets a limit to how much money you're allowed to make selling cottage foods annually. States use these limits to motivate cottage food chefs to begin their business operations outside of their homes, and then expand their businesses into traditional brick and mortar entities.

Currently, the annual limit cottage food operators are allowed to earn in Oregon is $20,000. And that's simply not enough for many people. That's why the state has step-up options for licenses that do not have income caps attached.

Starting a cottage food operation in Oregon is affordable and straightforward. There's a $10 fee to take a food handler’s course. Each person involved in your cottage food operation must complete a food handler’s course. It's a simple and fast process, and you'll receive a certificate that you can display to build confidence in prospective customers.

You will not be able to sell your cottage foods to commercial entities for resale, meaning you cannot sell them to grocery stores, restaurants, schools, hospitals, daycare centers, or nursing homes. Oregon cottage food producers are allowed to take online orders, but they are not allowed to make deliveries. All sales must be made directly to the customer, in person.

Pennsylvania Cottage Food Law

Currently, Pennsylvania has no specific cottage food laws in effect. However, the state does have a limited food establishment program, which allows you to prepare cottage foods from your home kitchen and sell them directly to customers.

Pennsylvania does not make it as easy as most other states to begin a college food operation. You'll need to apply, which can take up to four weeks to be approved. However, after you are approved, Pennsylvania offers some nice perks relative to other states, including:

Once you're licensed to sell cottage foods in Pennsylvania, you'll need to have your home facility inspected. If you're planning on producing high-acid foods - like salsa, hot sauce, marinara, jams, jellies, or preserves - you'll have to have your products tested at a state-approved laboratory. You'll also be subject to well water testing and responsible for labeling your foods according to state standards.

Rhode Island Cottage Food Law

Just like in Pennsylvania, there are no specific cottage food laws in effect in Rhode Island, yet. The state allows homemade food products to be sold, but only farmers are allowed to take part.

The question here is what constitutes a “farmer.” Do you have to have a 300-acre farm that produces massive crops each year? Or can you live in an apartment and grow microgreens in your closet? The current laws in Rhode Island don't specifically address these nuances.

In general, in order to run a cottage food business in Rhode Island, you'll need to be able to produce at least $2,500 in gross annual sales. For most cottage cooks, that's an easy-to-achieve goal.

If you're ready to begin, contact your local health department and let them know that you're interested in beginning a cottage food operation. Ask whether you need a business license or not, and where you can get an application to become a farm food manufacturer.

South Carolina Cottage Food Law

Becoming a cottage food chef in South Carolina is a simple process, but the state puts an annual income cap of $15,000 on your operations in order to inspire you to expand your business. Beginning your business is as easy as deciding to do it. You will not need any food preparation permit as long as all the food you prepare is made in your own home kitchen.

You are allowed to sell your cottage foods at farmers markets, flea markets, roadside stands, and farm stands from your home. You'll only be allowed to sell the food you make in your home to the people who want to consume it. You are not allowed to sell to retail food establishments, restaurants, department stores, nursing homes, hospitals, daycare centers, or any other entity in South Carolina unless you have a permit issued by SCDHEC.

Cottage food labeling requirements in South Carolina mandate that you include the product's name, a complete list of its ingredients, and its net weight. It's a good idea, but not mandatory to include any possible allergens that the product contains.

Further, your label must have the following statement included in all capital letters:


South Dakota Cottage Food Law

It is easy to begin a cottage food operation in South Dakota. However, like many other states, South Dakota puts a cap on your annual income allowed. These income caps are in place to encourage cottage food entrepreneurs to grow their businesses into more complex operations. However, South Dakota's annual income limit is only $5000, which makes it nearly impossible to support operations, save money, and buy the facility and equipment needed to expand the operation.

South Dakota cottage food laws are due to be updated in July of 2022. Because of the current state of flux and uncertainty, it's important to contact your local health department in South Dakota if you decide to become a cottage chef. Ask what you need to do to comply and be sure that the food that you're planning on offering is on the approved food list.

Currently, until the laws change, you are not allowed to offer baked foods that require refrigeration; pumpkin pie, pastries with custard or cream filling, frozen fruit or vegetables, cheesecake or soft pies, sauces, pesto, or fermented foods that have not been processed with heat.

Tennessee Cottage Food Law

As it is in most other states, cottage foods in Tennessee must be non-potentially hazardous. That means that they do not need temperature control and are not prone to easy spoilage. Some examples of non-potentially hazardous foods include baked goods that do not need refrigeration, like bread, cookies, cake, pastries, and danishes. Some other cottage foods allowed in Tennessee include:

It follows that, in Tennessee, cottage food chefs are not allowed to offer potentially hazardous foods like sauces, dressings, meat, poultry, pickled vegetables and eggs, or other foods that must be refrigerated to prevent spoilage.

Minimal labeling requirements for cottage food in Tennessee include the name and address of your business, all ingredients contained in the food, net weight, the food’s name, and the date that the food was prepared. If the food contains any known allergens, they must also be listed on the label.

Smart cottage food entrepreneurs use their labels as opportunities for marketing. Think about having a creative logo design and putting it on every label. This goes a long way to enhancing your branding and earning your customers’ headspace.

While many other states put a limit on how much money a cottage food operation can take in annually, Tennessee does not. As a cottage food entrepreneur in Tennessee, you can generate as much net sales as you care to work for.

Texas Cottage Food Law

According to the Texas cottage food law 2020 and Texas cottage food law 2021, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home Texas, or a Texas cottage food law certificate, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Texas cottage food law sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. The Texas cottage food law shipping does not allow sales outside of Texas. You can find out more about Texas cottage food law insurance and Texas cottage food law recipes below.

Texas producers can sell anywhere within the state, including online sales delivered within the state. Texas law also allows frozen products, which are banned in most states. The annual sales limit in Texas is $50,000.

The Texas cottage food law list includes (but is not exclusive to):

Utah Cottage Food Law

Keeping it simple, there are two levels of cottage food operations in Utah. The easy option is what we'll discuss here, and it's called the Homemade Food Program. This is the option that most new cottage chefs enter the market with.

While it does not allow you to sell your foods to department stores, restaurants, and other commercial entities, it does allow you to sell your food to the public at certain allowable venues, including:

While there are many foods that you are allowed to produce at home and sell to the public in Utah, raw dairy foods are prohibited. That's OK though, there are loads of different foods to choose from to offer as cottage food in Utah!

The state of Utah is pretty serious about cottage food labels. All packaged food items from domestic kitchens must be adequately labeled prior to being sold. At a minimum, the label must include:

Every label must also include the following statement in clear bold lettering:

“This product is not for resale and was processed and prepared without state or local inspection.”

Aside from all of the elements that your labels must include legally, be sure to use your cottage food labels as marketing opportunities. Put your brand on there and some nice bold coloring to grab attention and earn the mind space of your customers.

Utah has no upper limit to the income that a cottage food operation can generate annually. That's good news for food artisans in Utah because many states impose a cap.

Vermont Cottage Food Law

The state of Vermont makes it clear that it cares about cottage food operations ensuring the safety of the products they create. It's critical for cottage food operations in Vermont to make every effort to reduce the likelihood of foodborne illnesses and cross contamination. The goal is to provide delicious foods in a safe and healthy way.

As a cottage food chef, it's always important to be concerned about safety and health. The Vermont Department of Health recommends that aspiring cottage food chefs follow best practices including:

You'll have to apply to become a cottage food operator in Vermont. It's smart to review all the applicable regulations that you will be privy to before completing your application.

It takes up to 30 days for applications to be approved. Then, your cottage food kitchen facility will have to be inspected before your license is granted. Inspections are typically completed within 10 days of application approval. But once you have that license in hand, it's all speed ahead for tasty profit!

Virginia Cottage Food Law

According to the Virginia cottage food laws, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home in Virginia, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Virginia cottage food law with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area.

Virginia allows producers to make limited types of food from home without needing a license or inspection. However, there is a Home Food Processing license that you can apply for to increase your offerings. Products can be sold at home or at farm markets. There is no limit on the money you can make each year.

The Virginia cottage food law list includes (but is not exclusively):

Washington State Cottage Food Law

Washingtonians must obtain a permit in order to prepare and sell non-potentially hazardous foods like candies, baked goods, jams and jellies, dry herb blends, dry tea blends, and other approved foods from their residential kitchens.

There's a nonrefundable $230 application fee (no credit cards allowed), and you will have to verify that the food you plan on preparing is approved before your license is granted. If your permit is granted, it will only apply to you, and only be valid at your residence that you listed on the application. If you decide to move, you will have to get a new license to operate in your new residence.

The state of Washington claims that the application process will take from four to six weeks to complete. Once your license is approved, you will be allowed to sell your food products directly to customers, but not via any wholesale channels. You are permitted to sell up to 50 different approved cottage foods to the public.

Washington implies a rather low income limit for cottage food operators of $25,000 per year. Always check with your local city government to be sure about the ordinances that apply to you before beginning your cottage food operation.

Washington, D.C. Cottage Food Law

Selling cottage foods in the nation's capital of Washington DC can be profitable, allowing home chefs to make appreciable income up to $25,000 annually. However, before launching your cottage food operation in DC, you need to obtain a Cottage Food Business Registry Identification Number and certification from the Department of Health.

When you go to apply for that, be prepared to provide:

Additionally, be prepared to provide a full list of all the ingredients in each of the food products that you intend to produce. There will be a $50 registration fee that will be valid for two years. Your application will either be rejected or approved within 30 days of a properly completed application. If your application is approved, the Department of Health will schedule a pre-operational inspection of your kitchen facility within two weeks.

West Virginia Cottage Food Law

In West Virginia, people are allowed to launch cottage food operations and provide non-potentially hazardous foods to people in their communities. Bacon, beef, poultry, pork, processed meats, seafood, fish, and dairy products are not permitted. Additionally, cottage food operators in West Virginia are not allowed to sell foods containing meat, like casseroles, calzones, curries, or lasagna.

Other foods that are disallowed as cottage foods in West Virginia include cooked pasta, cooked rice, raw sprouts, oil mixtures, cut or prepared fresh vegetables or fruits, and wild mushrooms. All of those foods are considered potentially hazardous and are not allowed to be sold as cottage foods in West Virginia.

Non-potentially hazardous foods in West Virginia that are allowed to be sold as cottage foods include those that don't require temperature control for safety. In other words, foods that won't spoil. Some of these are cakes, honeycomb, syrup, candies, fruit butters, molasses, jellies and jams, dehydrated produce and fruits, mustard and other condiments, tomato sauce and juice, and commercially harvested mushrooms.

Cottage food operators in West Virginia may also sell whole or cut, canned tomatoes, and all types of fresh, uncut vegetables and fruits.

Wisconsin Cottage Food Law

According to the cottage food laws in Wisconsin, the good news is that you don't need a permit selling food from home in Wisconsin, other than a business license. For those who are looking up the Wisconsin cottage food law 2021 with regard to sales tax, you will also need to apply for a sales tax license and collect sales tax for your area. Originally known as the Wisconsin pickle bill, people from Wisconsin can also sell baked goods that are deemed as not hazardous. That means baked goods that are low in moisture and do not have cream or other moist fillings that can mold easily. You do not have find out the Wisconsin food license cost unless you are selling more than cottage foods. For any baked goods outside what is considered cottage food, you may need a Wisconsin home bakery license. Contact your local health department for Wisconsin food license cost and commercial kitchen requirements Wisconsin for foods not covered by the cottage food law.

The Wisconsin cottage food law list includes (but not exclusive to):

Wyoming Cottage Food Law

The Wyoming Food Freedom Act (WFFA) dictates the laws and regulations that apply to all cottage food operators in the state. These regulations are intended to keep the public safe and ensure that cottage food entrepreneurs are operating in ways that enhance public health, not detract from it.

Cottage food makers can sell their products at farmers markets, at their own homes, and ranches within the state. However, sales are not permitted at commercial food establishments like restaurants and grocery stores.

Selling cottage foods at farmers markets in Wyoming is common. However, if you choose to sell at farmers markets, be aware that you are subject to inspection to ensure that you're complying with all local, state, and federal food safety regulations.

Wyoming's Food Freedom Act does not specifically address whether you're allowed to sell cottage foods at roadside stands. If this is your intention, it's best to contact your local health department and ask before you do it.

In Wyoming, homemade foods that can be sold include those that are processed in someone's home without the use of wild game or meat.

However, poultry products are allowed to be sold as cottage foods in Wyoming as long as the poultry producers follow the United States Department of Agriculture’s Poultry Products Inspection Act. Additionally, individual poultry producers are only allowed to slaughter up to 1000 birds per year.

Get Ready to Boost Your Cottage Food Revenue with Castiron!

Need more information about selling cottage food online? Castiron works with home cooks and bakers from around the country, helping ensure you have the tools and information needed to be successful with your home-based business. See how we can benefit your brand by visiting us online anytime.

Additional Resources

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