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Cottage Food Permit

In most states, a cottage food law is in place. This allows entrepreneurs to start their home bakery business without renting a commercial kitchen. Some states or counties require a cottage food permit, food vendor permit, and/or cottage bakery license. Most states will require at least a cottage food license application, so that they are aware you are in operation. Your state’s cottage food law application will identify any requirements that must be met.

The question, “Do I need a cottage food license?” will have different answers in different states. Some states require an in-depth inspection, similar to that of a commercial kitchen, and others only want to know your business name. Some states will allow for a couple of food operations that do not need permits.

If your state does have strict cottage food regulations, it is not smart to learn how to get around cottage food laws. Failure to follow the laws can result in hefty fines. Fines can range from a couple hundred dollars to thousands of dollars and jail time.

Below, you will find several state and county cottage food guidelines. This is not a complete state guide, but it is a good start for what to look for when you consider starting your at home food business. Be sure to check with your local health department for the most up-to-date information on regulations, licenses, and guidelines.

California Homemade Food Act

The California Homemade Food Act provides statewide regulations that must be followed in order to obtain a cottage food permit in California. In order to apply for cottage food license California, each individual must register with their local county. Every local county in the state has its own list to requirements that must be met before they provide a cottage food or home bakery license California.

The approved cottage food law California list can be modified by each county as they see fit. Each county can provide a cottage food permit B or class A cottage food permit California. Class A only allows food operators to sell directly to consumers. A B class permit allows operators to sell indirectly through restaurants and wholesalers.

There are no food operations that do not need permits in California. Every individual must appropriately complete their class B or class A permit California food operation before they begin production. Each county has their own fines for operating without a valid license. Below, a few counties in the state have had their cottage food laws outlined.

San Joaquin County

To start a cottage food business San Joaquin County, you will first need to decide if you want to sell directly to customers or indirectly to other businesses. A class A permit has less requirements than a class B cottage permit San Joaquin County. Both applications for a San Joaquin County food permit require a payment and complete list of food items that will be sold. Those who want a class A San Joaquin County food permit will pay $155 and those needing a class B will pay $310. An inspection from the San Joaquin County health department is only required for a class B permit. No items can be shipped, but payment can be taken online and over the phone.

San Diego County

The San Diego health department food service requirements are the same throughout the entire county. To obtain a cottage food permit (San Diego), a Home Occupation Permit, Business License, Business Tax Certificate, and/or stamp of approval are required before operations can begin. Depending on the location in San Diego, the zoning requirements will require different licenses.

The San Diego health permit cost will vary based on the local jurisdiction in the county. A health permit San Diego County must be displayed at all times. Those who wish to cottage food permit, a catering license San Diego or a food cart permit San Diego must complete the Food Handler Training Certificate, Food Safety Manager Certification, Food Processor Course, and Food Handler Course.

Riverside County

The Riverside County cottage food permit is fairly straightforward and easy to obtain. The appropriate application for a class B or class A must be completed to obtain a food license in Riverside County. Those who need a class B license will need to make an appointment with a local Environmental Health Specialist for an initial inspection. Anyone who wants to sell at a farmers market will also need to apply for a Riverside County food vendor permit. All permits must be renewed annually.

When residents of Riverside County selling food from home, they have more freedom than residents of other countries. In fact, Riverside County is one of the few counties in California that allows permit holders to sell fruit infused vinegar. Only high-acid fruits like apples, peaches, cherries, grapes, lemons, limes, and oranges are permitted. The local health department can provide more information about the complete list of high-acid fruits that are permitted.

San Bernardino County

The process to obtain a San Bernardino County food permit is one of the simplest of the counties mentioned in this article. Cottage food operators can apply for their class A or class B San Bernardino County cottage food permit online. They need to have their specific list of products, ingredients, and labels in their application. Additionally, they will need to provide a copy of their Home Occupation Permit (which can also be obtained online). To maintain a food vendor license San Bernardino County, food operators need to pay the renewal fee annually. Additionally, food operators must be keep track of all of their sales in order to prove they have not exceeds the $50,000 sales cap.

No inspections are required for class A permits. However, a class B permit holder will need to schedule an inspection before operations begin. Should there be a delay in the inspection, you can apply for a San Bernardino County temporary food permit. This ensures your operations are legal while you await the final approval.

Cottage Food Law

Cottage food law 2020 varies from state to state. Even within states, individual counties can have their own regulations. We covered this in depth in the last section. Moving forward, we are going to cover some cottage food laws by state. Not all states are mentioned, so it’s important to do your own research. By searching for “cottage food law” followed by your state, you should immediately find resources that can elp you understand the specific requirements of your state.


Florida cottage food law 2020 has not changed much over the past few years. However, it’s important to stay up-to-date with legislation to ensure there are no changes to the regulations in the future. In Florida, cottage food operators cannot have a gross sales of more than $50,000 from selling their goods. The products must be created in the kitchen of their primary residence and sold directly to consumers. However, a food permit is not required in order to create and sell these goods. Cottage food operators in Florida can make and sell breads, cakes, candy, honey, pies, dried fruits, homemade pasta, trail mixes, vinegar, popcorn, and other non-hazardous items.


Texas cottage food law 2020 does not require interested individuals to obtain any permits, licenses, ro inspections in order to state a home kitchen business. In fact, the Texas Food Establishment Rules does not give health departments the authority to conduct inspections unless a complaint has been made. You must sell the food directly to the individuals, and you cannot sell more than $50,000 annually. No goods may be sold online or delivered via a delivery service, per the Texas cottage food law shipping. Texas cottage food law recipes are some of the most lenient throughout the country.

New York

Cottage food law NY is one of the few legislations that does not put a cap on the gross sales of produced goods. Additionally, New York is the only state that allows candy to be sold without being chocolate based. However, custom order cakes (like wedding) cakes, are not permitted. Additionally, any mixes must be created with store bought ingredients. No items can be sold online or shipped to customers.

Do I Need a License to Sell Food From My Home in Washington State?

Obtaining a Washington cottage food permit is costly and time consuming. In order to receive a cottage food permit WA, a multi-step process must be completed. Cottage food operators are required to follow many of the same steps to earn a commercial food business license Washington state.

The food vendor license Washington state application costs $240 and renews annually at $240. There is a large fine for selling food without a permit Washington state, so it is important to correctly complete the process. A detailed business plan and recipes are required with the application. Additionally, all food operators must earn their WSDA food processor license, food worker card, and cottage food permit.

In order to earn the food permit WA, operators must have their home inspected. If you fail the inspection twice, your application will be denied. There is a cap of $25,000 that can be earned annually through cottage food sales. Family dinners and other domestic activities cannot occur in the kitchen during operations. Additionally, no pets or children are permitted. A detailed plan must be provided with the application that shows how pets and children will be cared for during cooking and cleaning.

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

Do you need a permit to sell cottage food, or food that's made at your home? The answer varies by state. Get more details here.

Heather Brookshire

The Cake Whisperer


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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


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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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