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cottage food community


Illinois recently passed an amendment to their previous law, so they now essentially have two different laws in place. This page covers the older law (still in effect), which is for “cottage food operations”. The new 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 new 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 $25,000 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, but it includes the most common ones.

A new bill (HB 2486) in 2015 aims to improve this law in a few ways. It would raise the sales limit to $36,000 per year, would allow some types of on-farm sales, and would let the health department add to the allowed food list.


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)

Allowed 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 $25,000 per year

If the $25,000 per year limit is not enough, you can sell baked goods as a home kitchen operation and 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 Management Certificate” from the health department, which is about 15 hours long and costs at least $100.

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 becoming 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 7/30/2015


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
This page was last updated on



I am looking into a pasta sauce venture. It looks as if the cottage law does not apply to this. Do you know where I could find information about pasta sauces, most likely containing tomatoes?


Hi there. I have a friend who is looking to start a lollipop business. I am assuming that doesn’t fall under the category of baked candy. Is there any other way she can do this without a commercial kitchen. Thanks.

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