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Maryland’s laws are quite restrictive, only allowing cottage food businesses to sell at farmers markets or at public events, and limiting them to $25,000 of sales per year.  However, there are no licensing procedures or fees, so it’s really easy to get started.


The laws state that the food must be sold at “a location in a farmer’s market or at a public festival or event where raw agricultural products are sold”.

Allowed Foods

Honey must be unflavored.

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


Here is some info about state sales tax in Maryland. There may also be local sales taxes that need to be collected.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made by a cottage food business that is not subject to Maryland's food safety regulations." (10-point type)

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MD 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 any nutritional claims are made, they must adhere to the federal labeling requirements.



Lisa Staley

Job Title
Chief of Department
Center for Facility & Process Review, Office of Food Protection, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Deanna Baldwin

Job Title
Food Quality Assurance, Maryland Department of Agriculture
Law Dates
October 2012
SB 550
This page was last updated on


I know you can only sell your baked goods at farmer’s markets, but can you give away free samples at other events (churches, schools, events, etc) and tell people they can come pick up orders at the farmer’s market? If so, can the sample package have your logo/business information on them? Thanks!

    Hi my name is Erica Smith and I’m an attorney at the Institute, the nonprofit organization who successfully sued Minnesota and Wisconsin over their restrictive cottage food laws. We are interested in trying to change Maryland’s laws to allow sales from home, not just events or farmers’ markets. If selling cottage food from home is something you are interested in doing, please email me at Thanks!

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