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Oregon’s laws for domestic kitchens are not the easiest when it comes to getting licensed, but they give producers a lot of freedom once they are setup. However, there are some strict requirements, like never allowing pets in the producer’s home.

Oddly, there are two different licenses: one license is for bakeries, and the other is for producers who want to make other items. Either way, an annual kitchen inspection is required, and both annual licenses are over $150 each.

After getting a license, there are few restrictions. Producers can sell anywhere, with no sales limit, and almost all types of food are allowed, if they don’t contain meat or dairy.

Some types of food are completely exempt from agriculture department licensing, like candy and honey (see Product section).

Oregon’s Farm Direct Bill allows farmers and growers to bypass many of these licensing requirements.

On January 1st, 2016, a new bill (SB 320) will become effective which will make it much easier to start a home business for selling baked and confectionary goods.


Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

If you want to produce certain acidified foods, your products must be tested by a process authority, and you must be trained by a Better Process Control School (see Business section).

Almost any kind of food is allowed, including products that require refrigeration. There are three main types of food that cannot be produced at home:

  • Low-acid canned goods
  • Processed dairy products (ice cream, cheese, etc.)
  • Products with meat

Some products are exempt from ag department licensing:

  • Candy, candied apples, and other non-PHF confections*
  • Coffee, tea, and other non-PHF drinks* (does not include fresh fruit juice)
  • Honey
    • All direct sales to a consumer are exempt
    • Indirect sales (wholesale) are exempt if the producer owns no more than 20 hives, but the producer must apply for the exemption
  • Pet food that does not contain meat

* must be sold in individual-sized portions, for immediate consumption only


There is no sales limit


Kitchen inspection

Before getting a license, a representative from the Oregon Department of Agriculture must inspect your kitchen. Here is a list of requirements they look for before approving it. Once approved, your inspector will give you an application for a license.

Your kitchen should get inspected each year.

Domestic Kitchen License

There are actually two different types of licenses — one for a bakery and the other for a food processor. If you only make baked goods, you need to apply with license type 11, with an annual fee starting at $152. If you make other items, like jams and jellies, you need license type 16, which has a flat rate annual fee of $189. If you make both baked goods and other items, you only need license type 16.

The application is not online — you will receive one after you have completed your approval inspection.

Licenses expire on June 30, and they must be renewed each year. The fees are not prorated if you start later in the year, so July is the most ideal time to start your business.

Business License

You must obtain a business license before you get inspected.

Better Process Control School Training

If you want to make certain acidified foods, you must attend a course at a Better Process Control School. Contact the Food Science Department at Oregon State University at 541-737-3131.

Acidified Foods Testing

If you want to make certain acidified foods, you must get them tested by a process authority.

Private well testing

If you have a private well, it must be tested before you get inspected.

Private sewer testing

If you do not use a public sewage system, you must have your septic system checked before you get inspected.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, OR 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)

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)

If the product is perishable, the label must also include an expiration date.

If a nutritional claim about the product is made, a nutrition facts panel is required.

Oregon Labeling Information


The supplies for the operation must be kept separate from those used for personal use, and medical supplies may not be stored in the domestic kitchen.

Non-employees are not allowed in the kitchen during preparation.


Department of Agriculture
635 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97301
This page was last updated on


I make dry goods to sell at craft sales in senior centers/school craft sales. My teas, coffee, cocoa is all dry. Soup, cookies, muffins, oatmeal breakfast are all dry in sealed containers? Many schools/senior centers say no bake goods or food. WHY if it is dry goods?

    Schools usually have strict requirements for where they can source the food that they offer, and senior centers may have similar requirements. Food for those facilities usually needs to be prepared in an inspected, commercial kitchen from individuals who have the proper licenses and training.

I’m in the preliminary stages of looking into marketing and selling my BBQ beans. They contain fresh vegetables, three varieties commercially prepared beans, my homemade BBQ sauce as the base, as well as a number of other ingredients. My question is, would these be considered an acidified product, or could I produce them in my kitchen under the cottage food laws here in Oregon?

    Your BBQ sauce might be an acidified food, but your beans would probably need to be produced in a commercial kitchen. You should call your ag dept for clarification.

Hi there!
I am a home baker interested in starting a bakery, but want to try things out as a home-based business to start. I noticed that you noted above that on January 1, 2016, a new bill will make it easier for home bakers to start a business. I checked out the wording of the bill, but I don’t really understand how this new bill differs from existing law. Do you know any of the specifics about how the new bill will make things easier? Is there still going to be a restriction around having pets in the home where you bake? Thanks so much for such a helpful site!!

    The current law requires you to get your home kitchen inspected and to apply for a domestic kitchen or home bakery license from the ag dept. The new law will not require either of those steps before you can start your home business. Due to the ease of starting up, the new law will be more restricted than this one, but I would expect this law to still be an option for someone who wants to start their business from home.

    I doubt there will be a pet prohibition for the new law, but I suppose there’s still a remote chance that the ag dept could add a requirement about that. At the very least, you should keep your pet out of the kitchen while you’re preparing food, due to allergy concerns.

    Yes, but you need to get your landlord’s permission as well as follow all of the requirements, including getting home bakery license.

Hi! Just to clarify, I would not need a license to sell a tea concentrate (Non-PHF ingredients- spices, honey, tea, etc) to coffee shops or direct consumers directly, correct? Would it matter what type of kitchen I produced the product (I have access to a commercial kitchen).

Is there any other kind of license for this type of food sale that I should consider looking into/need?


    You are only exempt from licensing if you are selling ready-to-drink tea to consumers directly. You do need a license to sell tea concentrate, either directly or indirectly, and I believe you cannot prepare it in a home kitchen. You can sell dry tea that you prepare from home. Regardless of the ag dept’s licensing requirements, there may be other licenses you need for starting a business:


I am wanting to make artisan chocolates (ingredients bought online) to sell at my local farmer’s market. I noticed that it said candy and honey is exempt from need ag department licensing. So does this mean I literally could make it and sell it without having a license? Do you know if I need any other types of licenses to sell at the farmers market, like a business license?

Thank you this website has been incredibly helpful.

    Hi! I am also wondering about making small batch- handmade chocolate candy…we assumed that it was required to make it in a commercial kitchen, but I was unaware of the cottage industry laws…will I be able to make them at home? Thank you!

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