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South Carolina

South Carolina’s cottage food laws are very basic and are intended to get someone started before opening a full-scale commercial operation. They only allow operators to make baked goods and candy, which is more restrictive than most other states. However, the main limitation is that they only allow $15,000 of sales per year. Sales must be made directly to the consumer, so while selling to retail stores or restaurants is prohibited, most other venues are permitted.

Although there is no license for cottage food operations, all home-based food businesses in South Carolina must get a business license for tax purposes. In addition, certain products may require lab analysis. All in all, the process to get setup with these laws is quite minimal.


Allowed Foods

Only “candy and baked goods that are not potentially hazardous foods” are allowed. Moist breads like zucchini, pumpkin, and banana bread may not be allowed. Candy-coated nuts, dried fruits, and caramel corn are all considered “candy”. Here’s some more detailed info about allowed foods.

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies (see Business section).

You can sell under 400 gallons of honey directly to the consumer by applying for an exemption.

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 $15,000 per year


State business license

While there is no license specific to the cottage food laws, each operation must be licensed as a business by the state for tax purposes, which costs $50. The code for this license is 445291. Operators must file taxes every month (even if they make no sales).

Cottage Food Exemption

If you are only selling your products from your home, you don’t need this exemption.

However, if you are selling outside of your home, such as at a farmers market, roadside stand, flea market, or other event, you will need to apply for an exemption from inspection and labeling.

Product Analysis

Lab testing may be required on certain types of food products, like fruit pies and moist quick breads. More information about product analysis can be found at the bottom of the first page of the exemption application.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, SC 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)

More labeling info can be found in the Cottage Foods Labeling Guidance document.


Ingredients for the business must be kept separate from those for personal use.



Food Protection Division

Department of Health and Environmental Control
Law Dates
June 2012
This page was last updated on


I want to start selling slushes or (Italian ice). Can I sell from home do I need a license etc? Can I sell at church or at the Masonic lodge, my dad’s a mason?

I saw we are not allowed to sell online, but I’m not sure what that means. Are we allowed to market ourselves online such as on social media? Does that mean accepting payment online like through PayPal? Does that mean customers cannot place orders through a website? If that’s the case, is email acceptable?

I would like to sell ice tea at farmers markets and other events. Can I do this under the cottage law or would I need to make it in a commercial kitchen?

    You can’t do it under the cottage food law, but you should talk with the health dept to see if you need to produce the iced tea in a commercial kitchen. You probably will, but some states or counties have exemptions for coffee and tea.

I want to sell vegetables from my garden at small town farmers markets. What permit or license do i need to apply for and where? I live in Chapin SC

Hello, I just started a cake business in my home and didn’t know anything about any of this. I have not made any sales but have had some inquiries. How long does it take to get a license for baking from home?

I’d like to make and sell bean pies. Would that be considered as a custard pie? What if the pieis vegan? No eggs, almond milk?

I just got my license to bake portuguese sweets in home made kitchen and planing to sell them at the farmers markets. Do I need to file any paper work with SC cottage law?

What about charging customers for sales tax on my baked goods? Do I add it to whatever the cost of the cake is based on the area of residence I live in such as 8%, then file taxes end of year? Unsure about how to keep a log , etc.

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