Skip to main content

Laws & Industry Info

Total number of CFOs nationwide

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 8 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Author
  • #3693

    Bramha Marathe

    Hello All-

    Do anyone has data on total number(estimated) of homemade food businesses nationwide, or per state basis?

    Any pointers to find more information

    Any data on total sales (per state/nationwide)

    Thank you all.


    David Crabill

    Wow, this is such a difficult question to answer. There is definitely no comprehensive list online nationwide… but it is my hope that someday this site will be able to give a good indication for how many CFOs there are.

    One reason that this is a difficult number to calculate is because out of the 45 states (including DC) that allow some form of home food sales, only 18 require a license or registration from the health department for their business. Also, even in states with cottage food laws, illegal home food businesses are extremely common and probably consist of the majority of cottage food operations.

    Of the states that require registration, Arizona is the only state I know of that publishes all of their CFOs in one place. I haven’t manually counted that list, but it includes at least 2,500 operations.

    There are also some counties in California that publish a list of CFOs, with the numbers below being approximations:
    Los Angeles (Class A / Class B): 250
    Orange County: 166
    Sacramento: 80
    San Bernardino: 75
    Santa Barbara: 180
    Even though there are 58 counties in CA, some of them have very few CFOs, and a few may still not have a CFO registered yet, so the above counties are not necessarily indicative of the state as a whole.

    So it is really hard to pin down a number, but I would say that if you’re only counting legal operations existing under the cottage food laws, there are at least tens of thousands out there. If you’re including illegal operations too, probably at least 100,000 exist.


    David Crabill

    An update: according to this article, there are at least 1,200 CFOs in California. I don’t know where the writer got their info, but it appears that they called a number of health departments and requested counts, and then added up the numbers from those that responded.



    Riverside County CA

    129 CFO’s from the May 2014 list

Viewing 4 posts - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.