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Illinois has two different laws in place that allow the sale of homemade food. This page covers the older law, which is for “cottage food operations”. The newer law is for “home kitchen operations,” which you should use if you want to sell baked goods outside of farmers markets. Aside from being able to sell outside of farmers markets, the newer law is more restrictive than this older one.

This law only lets you sell cottage foods at a farmers market*, and you can sell up to $36,000 or products per year. The startup cost for your cottage food operation could be as low as $100, but it could be higher if your local health department has decided to charge fees for registration and an inspection. This law is also very specific about what types of food are allowed.

* Products with a locally-grown main ingredient can also be sold on the farm that grew the main ingredient, or delivered directly to the consumer.


At the point of sale, you must put up a prominent placard that says “This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens.” (this is in addition to placing that statement on product labels)

In addition to farmers markets, products that have a locally-grown main ingredient (such as strawberry jam with locally grown strawberries) can be sold on the farm that grew the main ingredient, or delivered directly to the consumer.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

The laws explicitly state which kinds of pies, jam, jelly, preserves, and fruit butters are allowed — please check the bill to see the full list.

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


Sales are limited to $36,000 per year

If the $36,000 per year limit is not enough, you can try selling baked goods as a home kitchen operation to make an extra $1,000 per month.



You must register with the health department before selling cottage foods under this law, and usually there is no fee to do so. The department cannot charge more that $25 per year for registration.

Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate

You must take a class and receive a “Food Service Sanitation Manager Certification” from the health department, which takes about 8 hours to complete and costs at least $35.

By default, the only requirements for a cottage food operation are a no-fee registration and a certificate. However, an individual health department has the option to charge a fee (up to $25 per year) for registration and mandate a home inspection, which may also incur a fee.

If you are only making baked goods, you can bypass the above requirements by trying to become a home kitchen operation.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was produced in a home kitchen not subject to public health inspection that may also process common food allergens."

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IL 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

Produced on 9/26/2016


In addition to (or instead of) your home kitchen, you can use another residential or commercial kitchen on your property.


Law Dates
January 2012
SB 0840
June 2014
HB 5354
June 2014
HB 5657
January 2016
HB 2486
This page was last updated on


Is popcorn a selling option with this law? and do anyone know since I have a food service sanitation manager certification and I’m registered with the health department because I’m a manger at a fast food place so it should be good already right??

    Popcorn isn’t listed in this law, so I’m not sure if it would be allowed. You should contact the health dept to determine the best way to sell popcorn. If you can use this law, then I’d expect your certification to be sufficient.

i was wondering if selling veggies like tomatoes at a garage sale is permitted? Does one need a permit for items that arent prepared or baked/cooked?

I am interested in selling a variety of home made (in an uninspected kitchen) chocolate bars at local farmers/flea markets in illinois. Is this something I would be allowed to do? If so what licensing would i need to acquire to do so?

I want to open a home candy store. I plan to sell pre-packaged foods, snacks and drinks. I am new to Illinois and have no clue on where to start. I need direction to where and what do I need to obtain in order to be “up to code.” What permits, registrations and licensure do I need. Please Help!!

I work at a business that is planning to have a Bake sale letting their employees bring in home prepared foods. That food would then be sold to other employees of the company and the money then donated to a charity. Would this fall under the Home Food Preparation law and since the food would be sold, Is the business required to follow the Allergen labeling requirements?

Would this be allowed under the cottage laws: Ice cream sandwiches that consist of two home made cookies with a layer of commercially prepared ice cream between the cookies? We would buy the ice cream and not be making it ourselves.

Hello!! I work with my co-owner in Illinois and I looked up both laws that seem to pertain to home food sale. Neither of them allow for online marketplaces for the sale of baked goods from home. Is there another avenue or law we could work with? Thank you!

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