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cottage food community


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.


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


There is no sales limit


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.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies


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.


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


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


I’m interested in starting a cookies & milk business (as in selling my homemade cookies and including a pint of milk). Would I be able to purchase milk from the store and give it to customers? Thanks!

    No, you cannot sell milk with this license. I’m not sure if there is a special license that you could get to resell milk. You should contact the health dept for more info.

a few questions pertaining specifically to state of Georgia:
1) how much money can a household make in PROFITS per year from selling allowable cottage foods to others?
2) is it the zoning department to ask if you can set up a roadside stand selling cottage foods from your driveway?
3) do you need to renew any of the 6 requirements for ‘Business’ such as business license listed above each year?
4) How does this particular website make money to pay employees? Little to no ads, just want to understand the business better.
5) Under allowed services, only pick up is listed. Is delivery an option for online sales or normal sales?
6) If selling fresh picked produce, what does one need to sell from home? What is the PROFIT limit?
7) Is proof necessary to show what part of sales is profit rather than covering cost of product? Is there any compensation for amount of time and effort it took making product, such as hourly pay would deduct from profit?

    8) Is it okay to arrange for pickup at a public place, as am a young pregnant wife and plan on having more children? Do not want to invite people over just to pick up a $5 jar of caramel and risk being attacked by an insane criminal that should have been persecuted properly long ago.

    9) And for the labeling, what would a young wife trying to protect her family from insane folks who pretend to be good customers in the case of putting their HOME ADDRESS on the label? There has got to be a CAUTION taken with this today in our country.

    1) There is no sales limit, so there is no limit to the amount of profit you could make.
    2) Yes, but if you live in a neighborhood, you almost certainly can’t do that. Businesses are supposed to operate in business zones.
    3) Typically all of those requirements must be renewed annually, except for the training, which is usually good for 5 years. The well water or septic tank inspection might be good for longer than a year.
    4) It doesn’t. It’s just me, and I’m working on trying to monetize it with paid membership services that help CFOs run their businesses.
    5) I must have been unsure about delivery when I last updated the page. I just checked and confirmed that delivery is allowed, as long as you are personally delivering the product.
    6) Usually there are little to no requirements to sell uncut produce directly to consumers.
    7) Perhaps you are misunderstanding this process? This law allows you to start a home business. Just like any other business, as the business owner, you’re responsible for selling your products and setting a price point. You use the revenues to compensate for your expenses and time.
    8) Yes, you can arrange pickup elsewhere. However, many home cooks offer pickup at their own home, and I’ve never heard of there being a problem. I guess it depends on the area you live in.
    9) Using your home address is actually for safety reasons, so that in the case of a health complaint, the ag dept can use the label to trace the problem back to your home. Again, I’ve heard a number of people express concern about this, but have yet to see any evidence that the fear is justified. An address on a label doesn’t give anyone greater access to your home, and I’d argue that it doesn’t give anyone ideas, either. If you are truly afraid that you are putting yourself and your family in danger, then you shouldn’t start a home food business at all… you should make your products in a commercial kitchen and become licensed as a commercial food processor, which is a lot more complicated and expensive. But at least you could list the commercial kitchen’s address, not your own.

I’d like to get some information on am I suppose to get a Food Cottage license for my cake business if I am renting a commercial kitchen. How do I go about doing this? Do I need to still go through all the steps of (i.e. private sewer & well analysis, ANSI accredited food course, cottage food license, and home inspection)? Can I still get my business license?
Thanks so much,

    If you are renting a commercial kitchen, you don’t have to worry about any of the requirements on this page. There are separate requirements and licenses for commercial food businesses, and you should contact the health or ag dept about what you need.

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’m not sure either, but I think it depends. Your products should be prepared and packaged in your home, so your customers wouldn’t be able to bag it on-the-spot. I’m not sure if there is special licensing for this, but there may be because there could be legal implications:

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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