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Utah requires a relatively lengthy application process to sell cottage foods, but fortunately, the law is quite flexible once the cottage food operator is setup. The $107 (or more) process involves a business license application, food handler training, a home inspection, and a cottage food product application, which includes detailed written recipes and possibly product testing at a lab. Utah has a number of requirements for the operation’s workspace, and one uncommon requirement is that operators must keep a 14-day sample of every batch of food they make.

Once they are setup, cottage food operations are relatively unrestricted in almost every other way. Sales can be made anywhere within the state (as long as other food establishments don’t incorporate the food into their products), and operators can sell as much as they want. The list of allowed foods is very comprehensive, as they basically allow anything that is non-perishable at room temperature. If cottage food operators can get past the initial hassle of applying, they are given quite a bit of freedom in how they choose to run their business.


The operator must display a copy of their registration certificate wherever they sell their products.

Sales may be made anywhere within the state, direct or indirect, but food establishments may not use cottage food products as ingredients in their food.

Allowed Foods

Prohibited Foods

If the operator grows fruits or vegetables that they use in their products, they must first get a private pesticide applicator certification if they use any pesticides.

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

Pets are never allowed in the kitchen, and free-roaming pets, like cats or dogs, are only allowed in the home if they can be permanently blocked from entering the kitchen.


Food Handler Training

First, every cottage food operator must take a training course by getting an approved Food Handler’s Permit. There are many of these courses available around the state, and they can be completed in-person or online for about $25.

Product submission

Detailed recipes must be submitted to the UDAF (Utah Department of Agriculture and Food) for every product the operator is going to sell. For some recipes, the department may request that the product be sent into a food processing authority for testing to ensure that it is safe when left at room temperature, which would incur an extra fee per product. Usually only items like canned goods, carrot cake, or zucchini bread need to be tested.

Business license

Cottage food operations must also have a business license, which can be a simple DBA (Doing Business As) license. The fee for a license is at least $22.


Operators must submit an application (which may be done via regular mail or email) and review the checklist. Registration costs $30 and must be renewed annually.

Home inspection

Once the application is turned in, an inspector will come to the home of the operation to make sure it is abiding by the rules. The home inspection is another $30.

Private well testing

If the water supply for the kitchen comes from a private well, it must be tested annually, which would incur an additional fee.

Once approved, the cottage food operator will receive a certificate so they can start selling their products. The process for getting approved can take many weeks, especially for applications with many recipes attached.

All told, the registration should cost at least $107, but it could be hundreds of dollars if food testing, water testing, and/or a different business license or food handlers permit are needed.


Sample Label

Chocolate Chip Cookies

"Home Produced" (12-point bold type)

Forrager Cookie Company

123 Chewy Way, Cookietown, UT 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)

Contains: milk, eggs, wheat, soy

NET WT 2 lb 4 oz (1.02 kg)

If the operator would like to withhold nutritional labeling, they must request an exemption.

Products that are on-demand (delivery or pickup), like wedding cakes, do not need full labels, but an ingredient list must be made available to the buyer on request.

Basic Labeling Requirements for Home Produced Foods (sample labels)


A sample from each batch of product must be kept for 14 days, and it must be labeled with the date and time it was produced.

Non-employees are not allowed in the kitchen while processing for the business is occurring.

Any equipment that is pet-related, like cages or bowls, may not be cleaned in the kitchen.

Supplies and ingredients for the business must be stored in a separate location from those for personal use.

There are many more workplace requirements which are listed in the Cottage Food Guidelines.



Rebecca Nielsen

Job Title
Cottage Food Program Coordinator/Labeling Specialist
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food
[email protected]
PO Box 146500
350 N Redwood Road
Salt Lake City, UT 84114-6500
Law Dates
April 2007
HB 339
May 2008
HB 63

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I am a partner in a business in Utah based on the cottage food program, can i sell our product ( old fashion hard taffy) out of the state if its only to individual people (retail) sells? as long as they know that i am part of cottage food and that i make it in my home.

Would pretzels fall under this law or would I need a commercial kitchen?
I would like to start off selling from home, then expand to a storefront later on.
What qualifies as a commercial kitchen?

    Yes, pretzels are allowed under this law. A commercial kitchen has to adhere to dozens of standards that a home kitchen does not, including getting inspected continually by the health dept. They are in every restaurant in your area.

    Honey is not listed as an allowed item in this law, so I assume that you need to follow a different law to produce and sell it. Try contacting the ag dept to learn about the laws for selling honey.

I am wanting to just teach a few neighborhood kids how to bake cookies and a few other basic things in my home. I don’t want to sell anything, what license do I need if any?

    Are you trying to sell the lessons? I don’t know about Utah specifically, but I know that some states don’t require any permit as long as the students make the items themselves and consume only their own items. My guess is that you won’t need a permit if you’re not going to receive any money for teaching the kids, but you can check with the health dept.

What requirements do I need to abide by if I want to sell shaved ice at a community yard sale on private owned land? Also, some of my neighbors want to sell baked goods at this event. Do they need food handlers permits? Are they alright to sell what is on the approved list if they provide ingredients?

    Technically, all of you need permits to sell food to the public for profit, but the law is often ignored for yard sales like these. Your neighbors could use the cottage food law above (which is a pretty lengthy application process), and you would need to get a different permits (likely even more complicated). In the eyes of the health dept, baked goods are a fairly low risk item and not one that they would likely be too concerned about for a one-time yard sale (although they probably can’t admit that, if asked). They would probably be much more concerned about the shaved ice.

I linked to this page from the Provo Farmer’s Market page, which says that food artisan vendors can prepare their food at commercial kitchens. But then on this site, it says that commercial kitchens cannot be used to prepare food for sale. ? Which is correct?

    This one is probably correct. That info comes directly from the cottage food law, which states: ‘”Cottage food production operation” means a person, who in the person’s home, produces a food product…’

    But although that’s what’s written into the law, that doesn’t mean it’s common practice.

    My guess is that the farmers market page was referring to both cottage food and commercial vendors as “food artisans”, in contrast to a farmer/grower/producer. I don’t think they were suggesting that all food artisans can use a commercial kitchen.

Do you know the rules on frosting? It says that buttercreams are borderline for being non-perishable. What kind of frosting are you aloud to use?

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