Skip to main content
cottage food community


Texas passed an amendment (HB 970) to their cottage food law in September 2013, which greatly loosened the restrictions of their original cottage food law (SB 81).

The biggest change with the amendment is that cottage food operations can sell outside of their homes, such as at farmers markets or other events. Indirect sales to retail stores are still not allowed, but it is a huge step of progress. Texas also now has a good number of foods that are allowed to be made from home, but the sales limit per year is still $50,000. Although no licenses are required, cottage food operations need to take a food handler’s training course.

A new bill (HB 2600) was introduced in 2015, but it died in its legislative session. It would have created a new type of home food business, termed a “home food processor”, and it would not have affected the current cottage food law. It was a fairly ambitious bill, aiming to let home food processors sell from any venue, ship within Texas, and make more food items (like perishable baked goods). A version of this bill will probably be reintroduced in 2016.


“Events” only refers to municipal, county, or nonprofit events (including fairs and festivals). Sales cannot be made at other events, such as state fairs or privately sponsored public events (like craft fairs and flea markets).

Only roadside stands that are on farms (aka “farm stands”) are allowed.

Allowed Foods

Only traditional cucumber pickles are allowed. Despite many types of chocolate-covered items and baked goods being allowed, rice krispie treats and chocolate-covered graham crackers are specifically not 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


Food handler training program

Cottage food operators must take an accredited training program for food handlers. There are many options to choose from, including online courses that usually cost $10 – $15.

Sales and Use Tax Permit

With the exception of candy or candy-coated items, most cottage food products are exempt from sales tax if they are not sold hot or with utensils. To learn more, read this document, and for further clarification, contact the Comptroller.

Zoning laws cannot prohibit a cottage food operation. If your municipality says you cannot operate from your home, you should dispute it.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This food is made in a home kitchen and is not inspected by the Department of State Health Services or a local health department."

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, TX 73531

Although a specific allergen list is not required, any major food allergens in your products must be listed in the ingredient list or somewhere else on the label.


Law Dates
September 2011
SB 81
July 2012
25 TAC 229.661
September 2013
HB 970
This page was last updated on


I would like to know if it’s ok to sell my home baked goods from a food truck at different locations…parks, streets, etc.
I know under the Texas cottage law the food has to be prepared in my home but I’m thinking about going the food truck route to sell my goods.

Can my husband and I sell lunch plates out of our home or by the side of the road? From my understanding, we aren’t allowed to do so but I have seen people sell bbq plates a lot. We would like to raise money to help with our finances. I’ve even bought tamales from some people, unaware of this information.

My husband is the store manager of a rent a center, and my aunt is a store manager of an at&t retailer. Under this law, can I have a bake sale on their property?

    Are you talking about hosting a bake sale event, where multiple people would sell their homemade food items for profit? If that were the case, then no, that would not be allowed. Nonprofit events have some exemptions. If you are only trying to sell your food items at those locations, then I don’t think that would be allowed, but you should ask the health dept to confirm… they may allow direct, in-person sales from non-food establishments.

I offer in-home cooking lessons, where the clients eat what we make together. Sometimes, I have to prepare the foods for the lessons, e.g., chop, marinate and transport to the client’s home. Is this in violation of Texas health code?

    Yes, it’s a violation if prep is happening in your home kitchen. I think there are some “personal chef” laws that allow you to prepare food in your client’s home, with the proper licensing.

or comment as a guest
* required (your email will not be displayed on the site)
Allowed tags