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The “Colorado Cottage Foods Act” began in 2012 and was amended in 2013, 2015, and 2016 (read about the history of the act). 2016’s amendment (SB 16-058) added all non-PHF foods to the approved list (including pickled items) and enabled internet sales within the state.

The current law restricts producers to direct sales only, but no license from the health department is needed. However, producers must take a training course before they can start selling.

One thing that differentiates Colorado from other states is that rather than limiting overall sales per year, they limit the sales of each product ($10,000 per product/flavor). This allows producers to sell an unlimited amount of food, as long as they keep creating different products.


A sign must be displayed at the point of sale with this statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

Interstate sales are not allowed. Your products may be sold online and shipped/delivered within Colorado.

Although your products cannot be resold, you can assign a “designated representative” to sell on your behalf.

Although your products cannot be sold through stores or restaurants, you can ask the health department about selling directly at those locations, which they may allow on a case-by-case basis.

Here is more information about selling.

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Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

Here is more information about eligible foodsallowed ingredients, and allowed/disallowed canned goods.

Pickled fruits and vegetables must have a finished pH level of 4.6 or below. Whole, fresh peppers cannot be used to make pepper jellies/jams/preserves, but dried spices can be used instead. The health department offers free pH testing as well as information about best practices for producing these items.

Freeze-dried produce is allowed.

Whole eggs may only be sold under certain conditions, including a 250 dozen per-month limit.

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 $10,000 per product
Although the producer can make no more than $10,000 of net revenue per year from a product, product variants are considered different products. For instance, strawberry jelly and grape jelly are two different products.


Food Handler Course

You must take a food handler training course, which can be taken online for $10 – $15 at

If you would prefer to take a course in-person, the CSU Extension’s Food Safety Works program offers classes around the state which usually cost between $5 and $30. For more information, contact your county extension office or local health department.

CSU is also developing a comprehensive online course for those interested in learning about starting a cottage food operation. It satisfies this training requirement, but the course takes 3 weeks and costs $170.

Business License

You should contact your local city and county offices to determine if you need a business license.

Sales Tax

You are not required to collect state sales tax, but you may be required to collect local sales taxes. To see if this could apply to you, check out this page and click on “View Sales Rates and Taxes”, then click on “View Local Sales Tax Rates”. Even if your county does require sales tax, you may still be able to get an exemption because you’re selling food that won’t be consumed on your premises (you need to check with your city and/or county about that).

Here is more information about starting a cottage food business.

Though not required, the health department recommends getting private water systems (like wells) tested once a year.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection and that may also process common food allergens such as tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, milk, fish, and crustacean shellfish. This product is not intended for resale."

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, CO 73531

Phone: (123) 456-7890

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)

Produced on 2/18/2020

In addition to the labeling requirements, a sign must be displayed at the point of sale with this statement: “This product was produced in a home kitchen that is not subject to state licensure or inspection. This product is not intended for resale.”

Alternatively, an email address can be substituted for a phone number on the label.

If a baked good or confection contains alcohol, it is recommended to include “This product contains alcohol” on the label.

Here is more information about packaging and labeling.


Beyond your home kitchen, you can also make your products at other private, public, or commercial kitchens.


Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability
[email protected]
303-692-3645, option 3
Law Dates
March 2012
SB 12-048
April 2013
HB 13-1158
August 2015
SB 15-085
August 2015
HB 15-1102
August 2016
SB 16-058

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I was trying to find the info but had no luck. Can a home kitchen be licensed to cook/bake out of so I can avoid having to go to a commercial kitchen?

I want to make and sell dog biscuits out of my home what do I need to be able to do this? Also, can I create a cute name to put on the lables?

I was wondering what the specs were on selling cheese. I use fresh, raw cow’s milk. I’d like to be able to sell at local farmer’s markets. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

On the CO farm to market website in FAQ section it states dehydrate fruits and vegetables are allowed and freeze dried fruits and vegetables are not. Why is this? Freeze dried fruits and vegetables have no water content what so ever.

    Usually in cases like this, it doesn’t relate to the risk of the final product, but rather the risk of processing it. Freeze-drying typically requires special equipment and specific time and temperature controls in order to achieve the desired effect, so I can see why they wouldn’t allow it. But I’d still recommend that you call the health dept and confirm that freeze-dried foods are not allowed under this law.


i want to start cakes business from home, i would like to make cakes and seel them from home, basically i will make cakes when i will ger orders. do i need any license for this? if yes then do you have any link about its details? if no then what other steps i need to follow to for this business? Also how much i determine cake products? like chocolatr cake is 1 product and vanilla cake is another product?

appreciate your help.


    You don’t need a license from the health dept, but there may be other requirements:

    I don’t know exactly how product variations can be classified, but I assume that vanilla and chocolate cake would be two different products. You can contact the health dept about how they define the sales limit.

I was wondering if I can sell Nut Butters like Almond Butter. And what I would need to do that online or at a Farmers Market.

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