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Georgia Can you legally sell food from home in Georgia?

Cottage Food Law

Georgia’s cottage food laws are pretty good, though it takes some effort for cottage food operators to get setup initially.  Operators must have a business license, take a training course, send in an application, and get their home inspected before they can get their cottage food license.  However, once setup, they are not limited to a certain amount of sales per year, and the list of foods they can sell is fairly comprehensive.

Georgia has more workplace and labeling requirements than most state’s cottage food laws, which are described in detail in the bill.  Indirect sales of goods are not allowed.

Selling Where can you sell homemade food products?

Operators must conspicuously display their cottage food operator license at the point of sale.

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Allowed Foods What food products can you sell from home?

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

Limitations How will your home food business be restricted?

There is no sales limit

Business What do you need to do to sell food from home?

Business license

First, an operator must apply for a business license from their county’s permits department, which costs $50.

ANSI-accredited food safety manager course

Next, the operator must get trained in an ANSI-accredited food safety manager course, like the Learn2Serve Food Safety Manager Online Course, which costs about $100.

Cottage food license

Each operator must then apply for a cottage food license by filling out a form on the cottage food website for Georgia. The fee for the cottage food license is $100 (or $50 after June 30th of the year). On the application, the operator must list the products they intend to sell. If they want to create new products after they have a license, that will require a new application and incur another fee.

Home inspection

Before getting a license, the Department of Agriculture or Environmental Health Department will setup an appointment for the cottage food operator to get their kitchen inspected, and there is no additional fee for that.  There are a number of items that the inspector must check in the inspection, which are listed in the cottage food bill.

Private well analysis

If the cottage food operator’s water comes from a private water source, the water must be analyzed and approved before a license will be given, which costs $100.

Private sewer inspection

If the operator uses a private sewage system, they must get their septic tank checked ($125) and then pumped ($300-$500).

All in all, the total startup costs for an operator could be as low as $275 or as high as $1000.

Here is some great info about collecting sales tax.

Labeling How do you label cottage food products?

Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"MADE IN A COTTAGE FOOD OPERATION THAT IS NOT SUBJECT TO STATE FOOD SAFETY INSPECTIONS" (10-point type, in Times New Roman or Arial font)


Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, GA 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)


If a nutritional claim is made on the label, then the federal requirements for nutrition info must be followed.

There are some specialized requirements for items that are not individually wrapped or packaged, which may be found in the cottage food bill.

The scale used to weigh cottage foods must be checked for accuracy by the Department of Agriculture once every year.

Workplace Are there any home kitchen requirements?

All ingredients for the cottage food operation must be placed in a permitted area, which is separated from ingredients for personal use.

Resources Where can you find more information about this law?

Law Dates
September 2012
Cottage Food Regulations

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Georgia Forum Got questions? Join the discussion

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Comments

In some of the Coastal counties, the inspection is done by the Enviromental Health Dept. In a bigger city, it may require signatures from 2 different offices of the Water & Sewer Dept.

I am in Auburn, AL and am considering a CF Business. Do I understand correctly that I would not be allowed to sell in Columbus, GA.?

I live in a small apartment. So, they will come and inspect my kitchen before I could start selling my baked goods? Do I need to take training courses? Thanks!

The county said that I have to have a cottage food license first before they will issue a business license. Is that correct? The site says business license first.

    It really doesn’t matter and is whatever they decide. I’d recommend you try getting a cottage food license, and if they say you need a business license first, then have the departments communicate with each other. But this is interesting and if more people have the same experience, I’ll change the info. It may just be a county thing though.

    Myself and a couple of friends have recently established cottage food businesses in different Metro Atlanta counties and the process was the same…..the city/county office required the cottage license prior to issuing a business license. Just thought I’d chime in. :-)

Just FYI, in most GA locations it is the GA Department of Agriculture that will do the kitchen inspection, not the health department.

This information was a sure blessing for me. I will follow all directions. If I do this, it will give me peace of mind about my perspective business. Also I will feel that I am doing the right thing. THANKS!!!!!

Thank you for this information. The new cottage food regulation is going to be the saving grace for our business. Renting and using shared kitchens is great but costly. Having the opportunity to use our home kitchen is just what we need.

This info is well organized and detailed – i appreciate you sharing.

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