Skip to main content


Cottage Food Law

Iowa has two different laws for home cooks, depending on what they want to make. Producers that sell only non-potentially hazardous food products do not need any license or permit from the health department, but they can only sell at home or at farmers markets. There are no sales limitations, and the labeling requirements are very basic.

Producers who want to sell perishable baked goods, or want to sell baked goods at other venues, need to become a Home Food Establishment.


You can sell baked goods at more venues by becoming a Home Food Establishment.

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

Perishable baked goods can be sold  by becoming a Home Food Establishment.

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


There is no sales limit


Although no license from the health department is required, there may be other local requirements, like a business license. Certain types of products are exempt from sales tax.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, IA 73531


Department of Inspections and Appeals
Law Dates
July 1988
SF 356
January 1999
HF 2166
August 2000
ARC 9996A
July 2001
SF 62
May 2002
HF 2620

This page was last updated on

Is there something wrong on this page? Please let us know! You can submit changes through this form.

Starting a cottage food business?


How To Start A Cottage Food Business


Are wedding mints, commonly known as cream cheese mints, allowed to be sold at the Farmers Market? They do not require refrigeration. Under the cottage food law in Minnesota I know that they are. But I do not know if they are or are not in Iowa. Please let me know. Sincerely Debra Nightingale

Hi, can I make and sell Hot Pepper Jelly here in Iowa? I am interested in making it from my home, but the information stated that low acid/sugar jellies may not be permitted.
Thank you!

What are the requirements for selling home boiled maple syrup out of my home ?? Can I legally sell it without any license ?

Why are roadside market is not allowable under the cottage.? The farmers market’s will be finished but I will have wonderful produce well after the season to be sold and now I have no venue to sell it… Are there alternatives?

I want to sell federally inspected beef that I raise by the frozen package, out of my home how can I find out what the minimum requirements are for the facility to get inspected? Want to start with just freezer space basically, no processing of raw will be done.