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New York

Cottage Food Law

New York’s law for home food processors comes with a number of restrictions, but for those who falls within the law’s requirements, it is fairly easy and inexpensive to start a home food business. Also, there are no sales limits for those selling under this law.

New York only allows homemade food to be sold at farmers markets, food stands, and other similar venues. Homemade food cannot be sold from home (or via delivery), online, or at stores/restaurants.

A number of food products are allowed to be sold, but New York has specific restrictions that other states do not have. For instance, it is the only state to allow candy without allowing chocolate or chocolate-dipped items. Fruit pies are allowed, but breads with fruit in them are not allowed.

New York City might not allow their residents to become cottage food operations.


The rules state that baked goods must be sold at “wholesale marketing or retail agricultural venues such as farms, farm stands, farmers markets, green markets, craft fairs and flea markets“.

Even though selling over the internet is not allowed, you may use it to advertise your products.

New York City might not allow their residents to become CFOs (check with the Department of Agriculture).

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Allowed Foods

Even though candy is allowed, chocolate (including products dipped in chocolate) is not allowed.

Making specialty items is not allowed (like custom-ordered cakes, cupcakes, or cookies).

Herbs, spices, and seasonings can only be made from commercially dried herbs and spices.

Only commercially processed nuts may be used. Raw nuts are not allowed.

Canned fruits and vegetables are not allowed.

To make pet food or pet treats, contact Cory Skier at

FAQs from the ag department:

  • Why are Fruit/Vegetable breads prohibited under this exemption? Fruit/Vegetable Breads often contain a high moisture content, which requires refrigeration.
  • Why is tempering Chocolate for candy and/or dipping not allowed? Chocolate and chocolate-like products have been implicated in foodborne illnesses. Melting chocolate is not a thermal process (not a control step). Chocolate melts at very low temperatures.
  • Why can’t I make certain items, such as peanut butter or items requiring refrigeration, from my home? Items where there are concerns for the product safety, including products where there is not a pathogen kill step, products which have been implicated in outbreaks, products considered Temperature Controlled for Safety or Potentially Hazardous Food, among others, are not allowed to be made in an unlicensed and uninspected facility.
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



You must submit a registration form to the Department of Agriculture and Markets.

Private well testing

If the water for your kitchen comes from a private well, it must be tested.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, NY 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)

If the home address is listed online or in a phone book, the street address does not need to be included on the label (the city, state, and zip code still need to be included).

Specific Labeling Information


More information about food safety can be found here.



NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets

Food Safety and Inspection
10B Airline Drive
Albany, NY 12235

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Starting a cottage food business?


Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid When Starting A Cottage Food Business

(Some of them just might surprise you!)


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