Skip to main content
Logo for Forrager
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 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.

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 am in Auburn, AL and am considering a CF Business. Do I understand correctly that I would not be allowed to sell in Columbus, GA.?

I live in a small apartment. So, they will come and inspect my kitchen before I could start selling my baked goods? Do I need to take training courses? Thanks!

    Yes, they will inspect your kitchen and you need to take the food safety course described in the Business section. You also need your landlord’s approval to do this.

The county said that I have to have a cottage food license first before they will issue a business license. Is that correct? The site says business license first.

    It really doesn’t matter and is whatever they decide. I’d recommend you try getting a cottage food license, and if they say you need a business license first, then have the departments communicate with each other. But this is interesting and if more people have the same experience, I’ll change the info. It may just be a county thing though.

    Myself and a couple of friends have recently established cottage food businesses in different Metro Atlanta counties and the process was the same…..the city/county office required the cottage license prior to issuing a business license. Just thought I’d chime in. :-)

Just FYI, in most GA locations it is the GA Department of Agriculture that will do the kitchen inspection, not the health department.

This information was a sure blessing for me. I will follow all directions. If I do this, it will give me peace of mind about my perspective business. Also I will feel that I am doing the right thing. THANKS!!!!!

Thank you for this information. The new cottage food regulation is going to be the saving grace for our business. Renting and using shared kitchens is great but costly. Having the opportunity to use our home kitchen is just what we need.

This info is well organized and detailed – i appreciate you sharing.

or comment as a guest
* required (your email will not be displayed on the site)
Allowed tags