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Nevada Cottage Food Law

Jams, jellies, and freshly-pickled veggies – there are hundreds if not thousands of unique home-based recipes small business owners can sell to their local communities under cottage food law; and the best part is, these homemade foods usually taste extraordinarily better than their commercially-packaged counterparts!

You might’ve wondered, do you need a permit to sell food from home? If you’re interested in selling your own homemade food products in Nevada, then listen up – there are several laws, regulations, and limitations you need to be aware of before jumping right in and selling your handmade goods.

We’re going to cover the basics of Nevada’s cottage food laws, dig into how the laws have evolved over the years, and then jump into allowable sales amounts, sales locations, limitations, and any other details you’d need to know before making your first sale. Let’s get to it!

Overview of Nevada Food Laws

In May 2013, Nevada’s legislature passed Revised Statute 446.866, a cottage food bill, that allows an individual to prepare and sell a limited amount of non-hazardous foods prepared in their own home. This is, by definition, food prepared in your private home/residence or any other non-food establishment, with the intent to sell your food directly to a customer.

Most states define “non-hazardous foods” as food items that don’t require temperature control and refrigeration to maintain freshness. This includes, for example, pickled fruits and veggies that can maintain a 4.6 or lower pH at equilibrium in the pickle jar (in other words, pickled foods stored in an acidic solution to preserve long-term freshness – a pH lower than 7.0 is acidic, and a pH above 7.0 is basic).

To operate your own cottage food operation in the state of Nevada, you’ll need to register with the health authority first. This can be done by submitting an application for health authority review, which can be found in the “Centralized Licensing & Inspections” section of the Nevada Environmental Health website. If you scroll down lower on the linked page, you’ll find the “Cottage Foods Registration” section with instructions for applying and registering with the state.

Once you’ve applied for a Nevada food permit in the state, it’s important that you familiarize and educate yourself with Nevada’s food handling practices and principles. Note that you may be held financially responsible for any foodborne illness investigations and/or complaints that result from the consumption of your foods.

Note that there are labeling requirements for any food produced under the cottage food law in Nevada. The state’s Environmental Health Authority provides a handy food labeling guide from the FDA that you can reference for any homemade foods you prepare for resale.

Cottage Food Law Nevada: Changes Over Time

Nevada’s cottage food law is written in Chapter 446 of the NRS (Nevada Revised Statutes) and was originally written to require any persons operating a food establishment to require a permit from the state. Before 2013, any food prepared in a private home was not covered under existing law, and could not be sold for compensation of any kind. The process for how to get a food license in Nevada definitely has changed over the years.

Luckily, Senate Bill No. 206 was pushed through by Senators Ford, Kihuen, Denis, Jones, Smith, Atkinson, Cegavske, parks, Settelmeyer, Spearman, and Woodhouse. This bill amended the existing NRS 446th Chapter and added food manufactured in a person’s private home/residence to the cottage food law, allowing a limited number of food items privately prepared to be sold to customers (only up to $35,000 annually).

The distinction here between foods made privately in a person’s residence or non-food establishment is that this food is not subject to government inspection. For avoiding any potential future liability or mass-distribution issues with potentially contaminated food, the state of Nevada decided to limit yearly sales instead of allowing unlimited distribution under the NV cottage food law.

If you’re wondering how to get around cottage food laws, this is not recommended and could get you into legal trouble. And if you’re curious as to "how much does a cottage food license cost?", the price can vary across counties and some are even free; but as an example, it is $160 for registration for a cottage food permit Clark County.

Allowable Sales Locations & Limitations

If you’re preparing homemade foods under Nevada’s cottage food law, you can’t just sell your products anywhere – there are only a few allowable locations where you can legally resell your prepared foods.

For the state of Nevada, these allowable resale locations include:

Allowable services for delivering your products include:

Note that you explicitly cannot resell your foods wholesale, in restaurants, within retail stores, or online. These distribution venues require additional scrutiny, approvals, a food vendor license in Nevada, and legal registrations with the state of Nevada.

Remember, cottage food law in Nevada (amended by SB 206 in 2013) only allows annual sales of $35,000 per year and no more.

There are also four health districts in the State of Nevada, and depending on the region you’re in (i.e. interested in selling food from home in Las Vegas), you may have to register with that specific health district before being allowed to sell any food in the region.

You may only register for the cottage foods program in the following counties: Elko, Churchill, Eureka, Esmeralda, Lander, Humboldt, Lyon, Lincoln, Nye, Mineral, Pershing, Storey, and White Pine.

If you happen to live in Douglas County, Carson City, Washoe County, or Clark County (requires a Clark County Health Department health permit) and you’d like to sell home-prepared cottage food products, you must register with the local health authority of each of those individual counties.

If you intend to travel and sell your homemade foods in any of the aforementioned counties, you’ll want to make sure you have the appropriate registrations and Nevada cottage food license in Nevada completed and approved before making any sales in that county and/or region.

As a final note, for cottage food producer lookup, you can search Nevada’s CLICS System under “Cottage Food Registration.”

Approved Cottage Foods Nevada

For a comprehensive cottage foods list, Nevada does a great job of listing the types of cottage foods that are permitted to be sold in the state. This is critical for you to know, especially when it comes to the long-term benefit of your food business to avoid running into any legal troubles further down the line.

Some of the food items currently allowed under Nevada cottage food law include:

If your foods meet these required guidelines, you should be all set to go! All you have to do is register yourself as a cottage food distributor in the regions and/or counties you’ll be selling in, and start getting your delicious recipes out to your local community!

And if your foods don’t meet these guidelines for any reason, you’ll want to reconsider the types of foods you are producing. Nevada created these laws with the health of its citizens in mind; it is in everyone’s best interest to only produce foods that are classified as non-hazardous by the state.

Cottage Food Laws by State

We’ve covered cottage food laws in the state of Nevada in extensive detail, but how does Nevada compare to other states within the US?

Cottage Food License in MN

Selling food from home in Minnesota is slightly different from Nevada, although the basic idea does remain the same. Prior to 2015, Minnesota had one of the most restrictive cottage food laws in the entire country.

Unlike Nevada, in Minnesota, the annual amount of sales you’re allowed to make is based on a two-tier system. If you sell less than $5,000 in a year, you must take a simple training course and you’ll be ready to go. If you sell up to $78,000 annually (the limit in MN), you’re required to take a specialized $50 training course on cottage food.

For a MN cottage food list, you can take a look at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

To do a MN cottage food license lookup, check the Licensing Information Search in the state of Minnesota.

Oregon Cottage Food Law

In Oregon, the cottage food law (which went into effect in 2016), allows a very simple registration process for a cottage food operation compared to Nevada.

In contrast, you’re only allowed to sell up to $20,000 of confectionary goods and non-PHF baked goods. Honey and candy are completely exempt from licensing and can be sold at will.

Cottage Food Law California 2021

In California, there was an amendment (AB 1144) passed that is due to go into effect on January 2022. This new amendment increases the sales limit for cottage food products.

Currently, the state of California limits annual cottage food sales to $50,000 per year.

Idaho Cottage Food Law

While homemade food sales have been allowed in the state of Idaho for many years, the state’s legislature has only recently begun putting all of its official practices into state rules.

Unlike most states, Idaho doesn’t have a cottage food sales limit, but all of your food must be sold directly to consumers.

Nevada allows for a wide range of homemade foods to be sold to consumers, but limits cottage food producers with revenue and venue restrictions. Learn more about NV cottage food regulations.

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