Skip to main content


Cottage Food Law

Michigan’s cottage food laws are somewhat limited, but many people use them and they are still one of the most active cottage food states.

Many types of foods are allowed.  Fortunately, there is no need to obtain a license, which makes it very easy to start a cottage food business.  However, the laws are still restricted in that sales are limited to $25,000 per year, and products may only be sold directly to the consumer.


Starting a cottage food business?


Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Cottage Food Business

(Some of them just might surprise you!)

Allowed Foods

Although vanilla extract and baked goods with alcohol are allowed, they have special licensing requirements. Nut butters must be tested in a lab before being sold. To check if a specific kind of product is allowed, contact the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development at 800-292-3939 or

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 $25,000 per year


Although there is no required application or procedures required to start a cottage food business, it is recommended that on-site water wells are checked annually for safety, and on-site septic systems should also be evaluated regularly.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Made in a home kitchen that has not been inspected by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development" (11-point type)

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, MI 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)

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)



Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development

Law Dates
July 2010
HB 5280
October 2012
HB 5130

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?


Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Cottage Food Business

(Some of them just might surprise you!)


Hi,I’m concerned about the online training,I contacted the msu extention book store I bought the video and I sent the surveymonkey is any way to know who is the department in charge of the food training certificate ,how can I know ir the got the survey,or maybe I have to print the survey and to resend it againg by regular mail,I need help with this I called to msu book store and they dont know.So any information or where to go or call would be very helpful..thanks

Hi, I have a herd of dairy goats. I was wondering about goat cheese or goat milk fudge under soft candy? My zip code is 49799

    The cheese would not be allowed, and the fudge may be allowed. Does your fudge need refrigeration? If it does, then it would not be allowed. If it doesn’t need refrigeration, then I’d recommend you contact the department about this one (contact info at bottom of Allowed Foods section above).

    It’s quite possible, but I’m not sure. In some states, there is an issue with selling near a venue that is an established food business. Then again, it is face-to-face, which is the most important aspect of selling. I’d recommend emailing your question to the department at, and make sure to give them your zip code in the email.

    Donuts probably wouldn’t be allowed unless they’re baked, which most donuts aren’t. Likewise with waffles. Thanks for catching that… I’m removing donuts from the list because it’s confusing.