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Can I Sell Food From Home?

Have you been asking yourself, can I sell food from home? Or, can I sell food from my house? If so, then you have come to the right place! Our team believes in the power of independence. The power of being your own boss, and becoming a successful at-home entrepreneur. Selling food from home is one such pathway to a great home-based career.

In fact, now is one of the best times to start selling homemade food online thanks to a number of factors. First, the Internet has opened up so many opportunities. Before the internet and even up until the last several years, most people would not buy food online. Rather, they would prefer to go to local farmer's markets or bouquet food shops. Now, thanks in part to more groceries offering food deliveries and the greater confidence consumers have with online purchases due to large retailers like Amazon, more people are confident and knowledgeable about how to order food online. This makes it easier to get started selling home cooked food to the public.

The second big reason why now is a great time to sell food online has to deal with the cottage food laws. During the '90s and '00s, it was difficult to sell food from home and to the general public. There was a lot of red tape and a lot of restrictions. But then cottage food groups got together and started lobbying and petitioning for changes. Many states heard those petitions and responded by putting in more friendly cottage food laws. Today, most states have fairly easy processes that make it possible for individuals to hit the ground running selling their homemade food from home.

So, are you ready to get started selling home cooked food to the public? The following article is going to help you learn how you can do so legally and quickly.

How To Sell Food From Home Legally

While the cottage food laws in many states have changed and have made it easier for food artisans and entrepreneurs to sell food online, there are still regulations to consider when you look at how to sell food from home legally. We understand that browsing your state laws searching for answers to things like do I need a license to sell food from my home can be frustrating. Just remember, most of these laws are in place to protect you and your consumers.

To better understand that, consider the following general requirements and rules on selling food from home every food artisan and entrepreneur should know:

Another thing to consider is whether you want to sell at events or otherwise at public locations. Being able to sell at places like farmers' markets will improve your ability in how to make money selling food from home. But it also means you'll need to know how to get a food vendor license. Food vendor licenses typically require inspections, extra fees, and the outfitting of specialized equipment. 

Cottage Food Law

Every location will have its own cottage food law that must be followed in order to sell food from home legally, safely, and effectively. We can't get to all the places around the globe, but let's look at some popular places for where to sell food online and from home:


Selling food from home in Texas is about to be a whole lot easier thanks to new legislation being talked about. For right now, however, you will need a business license. Additionally, special permitting is required for items that require refrigeration.

Washington State

Washington not too long ago was a sort of frontier, anything-goes state. But today, it is trickier for how to sell food in Washington state legally. Selling food from home Washington state now requires a business license and food business license Washington state. Thus, if you're asking do I need a license to sell food from my home in Washington state, the answer is yes.

There are also special regulations that will require a Washington state food processor license and the meeting of Washington state commercial kitchen requirements. Not following directives can result in a costly fine for selling food without a permit Washington state. So can you sell food from home in Washington state? Yes, but make sure you follow the laws on home-based food business Washington state. 

New Jersey

The biggest question from New Jersey residents is, do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in NJ? Sadly, you cannot get one. The state currently prohibits the sale of baked goods from home. In contrast, nearby Pennsylvania is more lax. For them, the answer to do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in pa is "no". 


For the questions, do I need a license to sell homemade food in California and do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in California, the answers are yeses. California has two Classes of home-based cottage food law and both have license stipulations.


Cottage food businesses do not need a permit to sell food from home Florida if they sell directly to the consumer. Many counties likewise, so you don’t even need to ask if I need a license to sell food from my home in Florida or do you need a license to sell baked goods from home in Florida if it is direct sales. 


A recently passed law makes it much easier for individuals to get started selling food from home Illinois. But this state law included an "opt in" policy and so it is important to check with local jurisdictions regarding home-based kitchens and their requirements. 


We talk a lot about the United States, but there are also friends up north looking at selling food from home in Canada. In fact, searches for how to create a home-based food business Ottawa and the best guide to starting a home-based food business Ontario have gone up exponentially in the last year as the country continues to have prolonged lock-downs. Selling food from home in Ontario, selling food from home Nova Scotia, and selling food from home New Brunswick are all excellent ways of bringing in some extra (and probably much-needed) cash right now and inspiring a new home-based career in the future.

Best of all, Canada makes things really easy for home-based businesses. Selling food from home in B.C. Canada and other provinces are significantly easier than it is in the United States. That's because whether you're asking do I need a license to sell food from my home in B.C. Canada or New Brunswick, the answer is no unless you try to sell outside of your home province. You do not need a license if you are selling baked goods from Ontario 2020 to others in Ontario. That said, provinces and cities may require permitting in order to sell food at events, such as selling home-based foods at a local farmers' market. Most of these processes, however, are relatively easy and don't require following complex legislation. 

How To Get A Permit To Sell Food From Home

Are you ready to get started selling food from home? We hope the above gave you a general idea on the cottage food laws in certain states and provinces. The next step for the budding entrepreneur is to learn how to get a permit to sell food from home or how to get a permit to sell food on the street.

The processes for licensing and permitting tend not to be difficult so much as long and frustrating due to bureaucracy. First, you will need to check jurisdiction rules. Generally, you will need to pay federal and in some cases state taxes on profits and so you'll need to get a food business ID number or EIN (employer identification number) and then a state sales tax number. 

Next, you simply fill out any permitting documents required. These documents will typically ask about kitchen size, what you're selling, and where you're selling it. Expect for some states, cities, and counties to either require a kitchen inspection from the onset or make a provision to allow kitchen inspections in the future in the event of a complaint. Some places will also require proof of passing a health and safety course — which is a good idea in any event!

Additional Resources

Cottage Food Law Michigan | Cottage Food Law Wisconsin | Cottage Food Laws Florida | Cottage Food License | Cottage Food Sales Tax | Cottage Industry Laws | Home Food Laws | Laws About Selling Homemade Food | Laws on Selling Food From Home | License to Cook and Sell Food From Home | Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations | Permit to Sell Food From Home | Permit to Sell Food From Home California | Rules for Selling Food From Home

Wondering if you're allowed to start a home-based food business? Read this for information on cottage food law, safety, and more.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


My business would not be the same without my Castiron website! It is an easy setup with lots of customization and tons of support! I am so glad I set up my shop last year before the holidays — it really helped increase my sales!

Amanda McMonigle

The Whimsical Cookie


Castiron provides me a professional site to my customers increasing my credibility and value while giving me the tools to effectively market and manage my business in an easy, user-friendly manner.

Kim Sims

Wesley's Treats Hallie's Sweets


Castiron has made my cottage bakery shine, and my business easy to manage. As a platform they care about my business as much as I do.

Katie Maschoff

Mill City Cooking Company


Before Castiron, I was taking orders really manually, through emails or texts or Facebook. Now I can send customers straight to my website, and I don’t have to worry about missing any details.

Daniella Smith

Oso Good Clean Eats


I couldn't run my business without the Castiron platform. It made it so easy to get my shop up and running — it truly removed a massive barrier to me getting started!

Ali Serpe

Kultured Kombucha


I realized that the barrier of having to DM or text me to order was holding a lot of potential customers back.

Now that I have a professional website and a simple ecommerce checkout, I'm seeing a huge increase in new customers and they appreciate how easy Castiron makes ordering.

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The Best Fit for Your Food Business

Food entrepreneurs, this is your moment. Your community is more and more conscious about what they buy and where it is from. They want food made with love. With ingredients they can pronounce. And they want to support their community while doing it.

Castiron is the best fit for your food business because we're not a one-size-fits-all tool. Selling local food is different from pre-packaged warehouse products. Whether you sell cooking classes, need local pick up, utilize pre-sales to plan inventory, or need a fully custom order form — we got you.

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