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cottage food community


A new law (SB 525) went into effect on August 28th, 2014 that allows cottage food operations across the state. Previously, a few counties in Missouri allowed cottage food operations, even though there was no statewide law.

Under this law, individuals can only sell their products directly to consumers, which includes sales from home and at events. They can only sell baked goods, jams, jellies, and dry herbs, which is relatively limited compared to other states. Cottage food operations can sell up to $50,000 of products per year.

Although the law is somewhat limited, it’s a big improvement over the sporadic county ordinances that Missouri’s had in the past.


All sales must be direct (in-person) transactions to the final consumer. Internet sales are specifically prohibited.

Allowed Foods

Most baked goods that do not require refrigeration are allowed.

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 $50,000 per year


No permit, inspection, or training from the health department is needed, but there may be other local requirements, such as a business license.

A local health department is not allowed to regulate a cottage food operation, but they can investigate a potential foodborne disease or outbreak.


Sample Label

The label must state that the food was not inspected by the state or local health department.

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MO 73531


Law Dates
August 2014
SB 525
This page was last updated on


    Missouri’s law specifically allows baked goods, jam, jellies, and dried herbs. Since granola doesn’t fall into any of those categories, I put it in the prohibited section. I don’t know why the law is so specific… probably to make it easier to pass.

There is a bakery who is trying to shut all home based businesses down. The person is complaining to health department about everything they can think of. Advertising is one of the big problems. What would you recommend we do?

    That’s unfortunate, but I would recommend you and the other businesses start following the above law. That way, you are a legal business, protected by the law, and they can’t shut you down. If you are operating illegally, they do have a right to report you and try to shut you down.

    On the other side of things, once you realize all of the effort and money it takes to operate a legal bakery, you might begin to understand why that bakery would be frustrated to lose business from home bakers who have no overhead.

I recently tried to do the cottage law in springfield mo- the zoning lady said- no go and that even tho its a state law they don’t have to follow it. any ideas how to get around this? the zoning is preventing me from getting a biz license.

    The only way to get around it is to move. The law prevents a health dept from blocking CFOs, but it doesn’t prevent a zoning dept from blocking them. Some states do have wording in their law to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

    It depends on your county. I’d recommending doing a search of your county name and “Missouri business license”, and you should get some relevant results. If not, contact your health dept and they should be able to direct you.

I am wanting to sell my cakes and such out of my house am I correct that I am able to do this by obtaining a license to sell food. and I can sell legaly?

    I’m 99.9% certain that you can’t sell to a school. Aside from the cottage food law being intended for sales to individuals, public schools have strict guidelines about where they can source their food.

It is my understanding that some cities are requiring a business license and stopping cottage operators from proceeding forward calling out zoning issues. What is the point of having the cottage law statewide if they can do this? Do me it would seem they can’t do that since it overrides the state law.

    It is very common (and I would say appropriate) for CFOs to need a business license.

    Zoning laws would not be able to override this statewide law IF there was any language in the law that prevented them from doing this. It is common for CFOs to be stopped because of zoning laws, and therefore, some states (like Texas) have placed language in their law that prevents any local authority from disallowing CFOs. Missouri’s law only prevents health depts from regulating CFOs, so therefore, zoning issues could prevent a CFO from operating.

Trying to find out if I need a license in st louis county I’ve been looking and having no luck finding answers can anyone help?

How are fudge and marshmallows not allowed? How was this confirmed? I’m a little sad, because I had been selling those, and they’re fairly popular. :( I’m also confused, because fudge is essentially the same as frosting (butter, milk, cocoa, vanilla), and I know I can use frosting on my cakes. If I could get some insight on those, that would be great!

Also, I’m SO HAPPY that I no longer have to put ingredients on the labels! :D

    It’s confirmed in the law, simply because the law only allows baked goods, jams, jellies, and herbs, and nothing else. It’s true that “baked goods” generally include frosting along with them; however, frosting can simply be sugar and water. I’m unsure if a frosting that contains milk would be allowed… for instance, CA doesn’t allow those. MO hasn’t clearly specified the correct interpretation of the law, and you would need to contact the health dept for clarification.

    Thanks so much! This bill completely escaped my attention. It looks like HB 1100 was folded into SB 525, and it’s good to finally see MO with a state law!

    Can you provide any more info? I see a couple bills that appeared in the last legislation with a proposed effective date of August 28, but it looks like one only passed the House and the other didn’t make it to the House, so neither passed the Senate or were signed into law. I’ll change this page to reflect those updates.

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