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cottage food community

Georgia

Georgia’s cottage food laws are pretty good, though it takes some effort for cottage food operators to get setup initially.  Operators must have a business license, take a training course, send in an application, and get their home inspected before they can get their cottage food license.  However, once setup, they are not limited to a certain amount of sales per year, and the list of foods they can sell is fairly comprehensive.

Georgia has more workplace and labeling requirements than most state’s cottage food laws, which are described in detail in the bill.  Indirect sales of goods are not allowed.

Selling

Operators must conspicuously display their cottage food operator license at the point of sale.

Allowed Foods

Only "non-potentially hazardous" foods are allowed, but certain non-PHFs may not be allowed. Most foods that don't need to be refrigerated (foods without meat, cheese, etc.) are considered non-potentially hazardous. Learn more

Limitations

There is no sales limit

Business

Business license

First, an operator must apply for a business license from their county’s permits department, which costs $50.

Private well analysis

If the cottage food operator’s water comes from a private water source, the water must be analyzed and approved before a license will be given, which costs $100.

Private sewer inspection

If the operator uses a private sewage system, they must get their septic tank checked ($125) and then pumped ($300-$500).

ANSI-accredited food safety course

Next, the operator must get trained in an ANSI-accredited food safety course, like the ServSafe Manager Online Course, which costs about $125.

Cottage food license

Each operator must then apply for a cottage food license by filling out a form on the cottage food website for Georgia. The fee for the cottage food license is $100 (or $50 after June 30th of the year). On the application, the operator must list the products they intend to sell. If they want to create new products after they have a license, that will require a new application and incur another fee.

Home inspection

Before getting a license, the Department of Agriculture or Environmental Health Department will setup an appointment for the cottage food operator to get their kitchen inspected, and there is no additional fee for that.  There are a number of items that the inspector must check in the inspection, which are listed in the cottage food bill.

All in all, the total startup costs for an operator could be as low as $275 or as high as $1000.

Here is some great info about collecting sales tax.

Labeling

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"MADE IN A COTTAGE FOOD OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO STATE FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS" (10-point type, in Times New Roman or Arial font)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, GA 73531


Ingredients: enriched flour (wheat flour, malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), butter (cream, salt), semi-sweet chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, milkfat, soy lecithin, natural flavors), brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla extract (vanilla bean extract, alcohol, sugar), baking soda, salt (salt, calcium silicate)


Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy


NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)


If a nutritional claim is made on the label, then the federal requirements for nutrition info must be followed.

There are some specialized requirements for items that are not individually wrapped or packaged, which may be found in the cottage food bill.

The scale used to weigh cottage foods must be checked for accuracy by the Department of Agriculture once every year.

Workplace

All ingredients for the cottage food operation must be placed in a permitted area, which is separated from ingredients for personal use.

Resources

Law Dates
September 2012
Cottage Food Regulations
This page was last updated on

Comments

I was wondering if buying candy in bulk, such as gummy bears, and reselling the candy in bags by weight falls under cottage laws? I’ve looked but it isn’t too clear to me. Kind of like frozen yogurt shops do but with candy.

I am interested in looking into getting a cottage food license to sell packages chili seasoning mixes at local farmers markets. I have no idea where to find out what the requirements would be for me to be able to serve the prepared recipe (hot/with meat) as samples for customers to try. Any ideas on where to start?

If I wanted to sell dog treats and toys, does this fall under this law? If not where do I receive info. Thanks

    You are not allowed to sell your homemade granola to other states, because this law for homemade food is specific to Georgia. To sell granola interstate, you need to produce it in a commercial kitchen and get a specific license from your health or ag dept.

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