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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, but the most recent amendment allows the health department to approve more items.

* 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.

The health department has the ability to approve other non-PHFs.

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 5/27/2017


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


Can I sell cupcakes out of my home in Bartlett, IL? I was trying to find information on the village’s website, but was unsuccessful.

I was thinking about selling different types of rubs and seasoning. I live in Illinois. Would this be considered a home business or cottage?

If my hot sauce is tested to be NPH, can I sell it out of cottage food operation? The local county offices near me HAVE NO CLUE =(

    You local EPA is supposed to be enforcing the laws, so if they don’t know, then there might not be a clear answer. I would say that there is potential for you to sell it at farmers markets under the cottage food law, but the health dept has to approve it.

I would like to start making pulled pork sandwiches hotdogs sloppy joes from home to sell at the new train station along with drinks can I do that

Hi, I’m in Illinois and would like to sell home roasted coffee beans at local farmer markets – do you know what category coffee beans falls under? Would I just need to package with the same disclaimer as say, a baked food? Thank you for your time.

I am thinking about packaging my granola and selling at farmers markets this season, do you have a suggestion for where I could find out more information/help to get started with this venture? I live in Chicago, IL

    Honestly, Illinois doesn’t have many online resources, so this page and the resources listed on this page may be your best bet. To learn more, I’d suggest you contact your health or ag dept.

I love to bake and I’m really good at baking novelty cakes and its started off as me baking for family functions and a few friends and they would pay me nothing near as much as the cake was worth. Now I have friends of friends asking me to bake them cakes for there children’s birthday parties…. What license would I need to start selling my baked goods considering I do it out of my home???

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